Ceremonial staff

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


Object Place: Liberia/Ivory Coast

Dimensions

Overall: 145.5 x 7 x 6 cm (57 5/16 x 2 3/4 x 2 3/8 in.)

Accession Number

2009.2708

Medium or Technique

Wood, metal, cloth, string

Not On View

Collections

Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art

Classifications

Personal accessories

This Dan ceremonial staff is in the shape of a spear with three heads carved into its handle. Staffs, such as this one, indicate that the owner is an important member of his community. Staffs and other prestige items are associated with chiefly titles and other local authorities. Such items served as highly visible displays of wealth and power.

Provenance

Acquired in Paris by 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