Snuff Container (Tesa Ya Ma Kanya)
Arts of Africa
On View: African Storage Annex, East Gallery, 1st Floor
The body of this female figure seated on a chair has been hollowed out to hold snuff. The head and neck serve as a stopper. Containers such as this one were emblems of high status and were used by Chokwe rulers to serve snuff to important visitors or to make offerings of snuff on ceremonial occasions. The royal female ancestor sits on a chief’s throne holding her breast to symbolically nurture the chiefdom.
Wood, iron, fiber
5 1/2 x 2 3/16 x 3 in. (14 x 5.5 x 7.6 cm) (show scale)
Museum Expedition 1922, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund
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Chokwe. Snuff Container (Tesa Ya Ma Kanya), 19th century. Wood, iron, fiber
, 5 1/2 x 2 3/16 x 3 in. (14 x 5.5 x 7.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Expedition 1922, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund, 22.1089. Creative Commons-BY
overall, 22.1089_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2007
"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.
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.
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