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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.
CULTURE Chokwe
MEDIUM Wood, iron, fiber
GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATIONS
DATES 19th century
DIMENSIONS 5 1/2 x 2 3/16 x 3 in. (14 x 5.5 x 7.6 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of Africa
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in African Storage Annex, East Gallery, 1st Floor
ACCESSION NUMBER 22.1089
CREDIT LINE Museum Expedition 1922, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund
RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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CAPTION 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
IMAGE 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.
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
RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (87%)
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