African, Liberia/Côte d'Ivoire, Dan peoples
20th century
Artist Unidentified

Object Place: Cote d'Ivoire/Liberia, Africa


Overall: 49 x 12 x 8 cm (19 5/16 x 4 3/4 x 3 1/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art


Decorative arts

Among Dan women, ownership of a ceremonial serving spoon is a great honor and owners of spoons are designated as the hostess for kin group. Similar to the way in which men are visited by masked spirits, a family’s primary hostess will see the spirit belonging to the spoon in a dream. The spoon symbolizes the nurturing capacity of women.


1988, sold by 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