Heddle pulley

Senufo peoples
mid-20th century

Object Place: Burkina Faso


Overall: 13.3 x 5.1 x 5.1 cm (5 1/4 x 2 x 2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art


Decorative arts

Heddle pulleys, found across a wide area of West Africa, hold the double heddles of the horizontal looms. They consist of two pieces: the spool (often lost), and the u-shaped part that supports it, which the carver embellishes with elegant heads, masks, animal forms, and abstract motifs.


About 1968, acquired in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (then Upper Volta), by Drs. Eli and Carolyn Newberger, Brookline; 2009, year-end gift of Eli and Carolyn Newberger to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 20, 2010)

Credit Line

Gift of Eli and Carolyn Newberger