Bochio are very powerful and very personal objects. An individual may make one for protection, to harm an enemy, or to ensure personal success. The bochio is made in secret, so that only the owner knows its composition and purpose. Some materials, however, have consistent functions. This piece, for instance, includes a duck's bill, believed to contain the power to silence one's enemies. Using the long, pointed iron base, the individual plants the bochio in the ground in front of a shrine or in some other spiritually significant location.
- Culture: Fon
- Medium: Wood, iron, duck’s bill, human jawbone, fiber, organic matter
- Place Made: Benin
- Dates: 19th century
- Dimensions: 15 x 3 x 3 1/2 in. (38.1 x 7.6 x 8.9 cm) (show scale)
- Collections:Arts of Africa
- Museum Location: This item is on view in South Gallery, 1st Floor
- Accession Number: 49.45
- Credit Line: Museum Expedition 1922, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund
- Rights Statement: Creative Commons-BY
- Caption: Fon. Bocio, 19th century. Wood, iron, duck’s bill, human jawbone, fiber, organic matter, 15 x 3 x 3 1/2 in. (38.1 x 7.6 x 8.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Expedition 1922, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund, 49.45. Creative Commons-BY
- Catalogue Description: Wooden fetish object. Twin figures carved on platform base which tapers and is placed in a ferrule. Duck skull placed on front of torso, human jawbone(?) attached encrusted heavily with undetermined substance, perhaps blood. Necklaced with cowrie shells and string.
- Record Completeness: Best (87%)