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Feast Ladle (Wunkermian)

The Dan produce elaborate, beautifully carved spoons. Though these are occasionally used to distribute food at large feasts, the spoons serve primarily as symbols of a woman's respected position in her community. The carved head of a woman on the handle sometimes depicts the owner but more often is a stylized image of the Dan ideal of feminine beauty: pointed oval face, high forehead, narrow eyes, thin nose ridge with flaring nostrils, and full mouth. The hairstyle refers to the special grooming of persons high status.

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.


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