Three-Headed Figure (Sakimatwemtwe)
On View: Double Take Installation, East Gallery, 1st Floor
ART OF VIRTUE
Art can express our most important values. For the youngest of students to the most senior of elders, art can provide a vision of the ideal world.
This writing board is evidence and expression of devotion and discipline, and a connection to an international community connected by Arabic, the language of the Qur'an. In Sudan, students historically used wood writing boards to practice their Arabic calligraphy and to help them memorize Qur'anic verses. The text written on the front of this board is a verse from the Qur'an, sura 97, which addresses the night of the first revelation of the Qur'an to Muhammad.
The Lega figure called sakimatwemtwe, or "the man with many heads," represents the qualities of equity, wisdom, and discernment that enable its owner to see all sides of an issue and have knowledge of all things going on around him. It would have been owned by a man who belonged to Kindi, the highest level of Bwami, a hierarchical organization through which Lega initiates advance from one state of knowledge to the next.
Wood, fiber, kaolin
5 1/2 x 2 x 1 1/8 in. (14 x 5.1 x 2.9 cm) (show scale)
Museum Expedition 1922, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license
. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.
Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact email@example.com
Lega. Three-Headed Figure (Sakimatwemtwe), 19th century. Wood, fiber, kaolin, 5 1/2 x 2 x 1 1/8 in. (14 x 5.1 x 2.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Expedition 1922, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund, 22.486. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 22.486_SL1_edited_version.jpg)
overall, 22.486_SL1_edited_version.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Standing figure carved from a single piece of fine-grained wood with one large central head on an elongated neck and two smaller heads rising out of the shoulders. Each head has a carved face and each of the three faces is oval in shape with small holes for eyes, a larger hole for a mouth, and a long narrow nose beginning at the crown of the forehead. Down the single-body's torso are four notches in succession. The figure's single set of arms are at its sides, but gradually flare away from the body. Legs are apart; fiber cord is around left ankle.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.