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Feast Ladle (Wunkermian)

Arts of Africa

Hospitality is an important virtue in many African societies. Among the Dan, the woman with the greatest reputation for hospitality is known as a wunkerle. On public occasions, she carries a spoon known as a wunkermian as a staff of office.
MEDIUM Wood, metal
  • Place Made: Liberia
  • DATES late 19th–early 20th century
    DIMENSIONS 22 7/16 x 5 3/8 x 6 1/2 in. (57 x 13.7 x 16.5 cm)  (show scale)
    COLLECTIONS Arts of Africa
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Wiesenberger
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Carved handle in shape of face and neck. Face has typical Dan features: vertical scarification mark at forehead, crescent eyebrows, slit eyes, partially opened mouth with teeth exposed. Three metal studs at forehead. Headdress with 3 flat projecting elements and below vertically incised raised and depressed areas. Thick, slightly rounded neck. Bowl approx. 2/3 of carving, the back of which has incised and relief carving in lozenge and parallelogram shapes. Condition: very good.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Dan. Feast Ladle (Wunkermian), late 19th–early 20th century. Wood, metal, 22 7/16 x 5 3/8 x 6 1/2 in. (57 x 13.7 x 16.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Wiesenberger, 67.209.1. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 67.209.1_threequarter_PS2.jpg)
    IMAGE threequarter, 67.209.1_threequarter_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2007
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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