Prestige axe

Songye peoples
20th century, 1950–2000
Artist Unidentified


Object Place: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Dimensions

Overall: 46 x 30 x 6 cm (18 1/8 x 11 13/16 x 2 3/8 in.)

Accession Number

2009.2666

Medium or Technique

Metal, wood

On View

Richard B. Carter Gallery (Gallery 171)

Collections

Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art

Classifications

Arms and armor

This particular axe is attributed to the Nsapo, a Songye subgroup. Although this axe is rather simple looking, the copper inlay in the middle of the blade and the abstract geometric patterns that adorn the blade indicate that this was a prestige weapon belonging to a high-ranking individual.

Inscription

red plastic label: 64

Provenance

1967, sold by Michel Huguenin, Galerie Majestic, Paris, 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