Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Headrest

Date:
19th–20th century
Geography:
Kenya
Culture:
Turkana or Potok peoples
Medium:
Wood, leather twine
Dimensions:
H. 12 5/8 x W. 6 in. (32.1 x 15.2 cm)
Classification:
Wood-Furniture
Credit Line:
The Bryce Holcombe Collection of African Decorative Art, Bequest of Bryce Holcombe, 1984
Accession Number:
1986.478.11
Not on view
The nomadic lifestyle of the pastoralist Turkana peoples of northwestern Kenya and their custom of wearing elaborate coiffures made the use of light, portable headrests a necessity. Supported by two slender legs and decorated by tightly interwoven leather strings, this simple headrest may have belonged to a young man. Indeed, there is evidence that different styles of headrests and degrees of elaboration reflect the age and status of their owners.
Bryce P. Holcombe, New York, until (d.) 1984

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