Ceremonial Axe

Shona peoples

Not on view

A spiked vertical blade projects from a handle adorned at its summit with a miniature headrest. Such axes, like headrests, were popular heirloom among the Shona (examples of which can be seen in this display case). They were carefully preserved and transmitted from one generation to the next, acting as indicators of status while bearing ancestral symbolism. The distinctive shape of the blade holds symbolism associated with battle.

Ceremonial Axe, Wood, iron alloy, copper alloy, Shona peoples

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