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Spoon Topped with Bovine (Iri Ganä)

Arts of Africa

The Guro carve small eating spoons, or iri gane, for use as prestige objects. They indicate the owner's wealth and sophistication, since only a rich man can afford to commission such spoons. The animal most frequently carved at the end of the handle is the forest buffalo, a fearful and powerful being in Guro mythology. The owner seeks to identify himself with the animal, thereby enhancing his status in society.

DATES 20th century
DIMENSIONS 7 x 2 1/4 x 2 1/8 in. (17.8 x 5.7 x 5.4 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of Africa
CREDIT LINE Gift of Dorothy Robbins
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Bovine standing on tapered rectangular base. Right horn broken.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Guro. Spoon Topped with Bovine (Iri Ganä), 20th century. Wood, 7 x 2 1/4 x 2 1/8 in. (17.8 x 5.7 x 5.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Dorothy Robbins, 1993.180.9. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1993.180.9_PS9.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 1993.180.9_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2014
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