Bowl on a base

African, Dan peoples, Liberia / Cote d'Ivoire
20th century, 1950–2000
Artist Unidentified

Object Place: Liberia / Ivory Coast


Overall: 26 x 48 cm (10 1/4 x 18 7/8 in.) (slightly irregular)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Wood and braided fibers

Not On View


Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art


Decorative arts

Many objects made by the Dan and their neighbors, including this bowl, left Africa through Abidjan, where galleries and high-end merchants catered to collectors. Such bowls are associated with the female domain, and the generosity and hospitality of women who excel in cooking and hard work. Each quarter in a village names and honors one such woman, called wunkirle, who carries a richly decorated ladle as emblem of her achievement and serves food from elaborately carved bowls.


red plastic label on side of foot: "137"


1966, sold by Samir Borro, Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, to Geneviève McMillan (b. 1922 - d. 2008), Cambridge, MA; 2008, to the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation, Cambridge; 2009, gift of the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 17, 2009)

Credit Line

Gift of Geneviève McMillan in memory of Reba Stewart