Feast Ladle (Wunkermian)
Arts of Africa
On View: African Storage Annex, East Gallery, 1st Floor
Hospitality is an important virtue in African societies. Among the Dan, the woman with the greatest reputation for hospitality is known as a wunkirle. On public occasions, she carries as a staff of office a spoon known as a wunkirmian. The large bowl of the spoon suggests the ample quantities of rice she has given away. The ram's head commonly denotes power among the Dan, but it may also refer to the use of rams as sacrifices at the feasts over which a wunkirle presides.
Wood, copper alloy, fiber
early 20th century
22 3/8 x 5 x 5 in. (56.8 x 12.7 x 12.7 cm) (show scale)
Gift of Blake Robinson
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Dan. Feast Ladle (Wunkermian), early 20th century. Wood, copper alloy, fiber, 22 3/8 x 5 x 5 in. (56.8 x 12.7 x 12.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Blake Robinson, 1998.80.4. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1998.80.4_SL1.jpg)
overall, 1998.80.4_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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Feast ladle with elongated bowl and handle with large terminal in the form of a cow's head. The bowl, which is longer than handle, has an underside of seven lengthwise facets. The cow's head has faceted horns, small eyes, and bulbous nose; it is embellished with brass carpet tacks, several of which are missing.
Condition: Good. Overall signs of wear; nicks and scratches.
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