6 4/16 x 6 8/12 x 2 14/16 in. (15.875 x 16.51 x 7.3 cm)
30.064 oz. (852.3 g)
Bequest of David P. Harris ('46), 2020
Purchased by David P. Harris (‘46)
Scratches along top and sides, wear on patina.
This solid wooden headrest sits on a nearly circular base and slopes up to a saddle shaped space for the head. These were often used by its owner to elevate their head and preserve elaborate hairstyles and coiffures while asleep. In east Africa, these pieces are purely practical, while communities in central and southern Africa associated them with dreaming and divination.
Above information is based on a comparable headrest found at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1986.478.15