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Snuff Container (Tesa Ya Ma Kanya)

The body of this female figure seated on a chair has been hollowed out to hold snuff. The head and the neck serve as a stopper. Containers such as this one were emblems of high status, used by rulers to serve snuff to important visitors or make offerings of snuff on ceremonial occasions. The royal female ancestor sits on a chief's throne holding her breast, symbolically nurturing the chiefdom.

Catalogue Description:
Carved wooden snuff box, representing female figure seated on edge of European-style chair. Hollowed body used to hold snuff; head and neck provided stopper. Female wears large earrings of 3 iron chain links in right ear, and anklets above feet. Well patinated; shows signs of use. Condition: Good


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