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Staff with Female Figure (Udlwedlwe)

Arts of Africa

In addition to being functional, such everyday items as stools, headrest, and staffs may also indicate someone's rank, status, and wealth. Prestige staffs or walking sticks cailled udlwedlwe were used by Zulu elders of both sexes. This staff is decorated with a female figure wearing a traditional Zulu woman's beaded necklace and leather apron.

CULTURE Shangaan
MEDIUM Wood, beads, hide, fiber
DATES 19th century
DIMENSIONS 40 1/2 x 12 3/4 x 3 in. (102.9 x 32.4 x 7.6 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of Africa
CREDIT LINE Brooklyn Museum Collection
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Ceremonial staff of polished wood surmounted by a representation of a woman with arms outstretched. Circular incisions around wrists, upper arms, knees, ankles and waist indicating bracelets and belts. Multi-strand necklace of colored glass beads surrounds neck, around hips and hinde, loincloth. Additional beadwork beneath figures feet.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Shangaan. Staff with Female Figure (Udlwedlwe), 19th century. Wood, beads, hide, fiber, 40 1/2 x 12 3/4 x 3 in. (102.9 x 32.4 x 7.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Museum Collection, X968. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, X968_transpc003.jpg)
IMAGE overall, X968_transpc003.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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