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Funerary Head (Mma)

Arts of Africa

This head was originally attached to the cylindrical body of a figure called a Mma. The figure represents a royal ancestor and is shown with the composed facial expression expected of Akan or Anyi nobles. The figures are stylized portraits of individuals with differences such as personal hairstyles and scarification patterns. On the outskirts of towns, groups of Mma figures were arranged in cemeteries, where they received offerings and invocations for the dead.

CULTURE Anyi
MEDIUM Terracotta
  • Place Made: Sud-ComoĆ© Region
  • DATES 18th-19th century
    DIMENSIONS 6 1/8 in. (15.5 cm)  (show scale)
    COLLECTIONS Arts of Africa
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 69.56
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Abbott A. Lippman
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Anyi. Funerary Head (Mma), 18th-19th century. Terracotta, 6 1/8 in. (15.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Abbott A. Lippman, 69.56. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 69.56_bw.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 69.56_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Terracotta funerary head, mma. Three dimensional head with neck (orange, clay, coiffure in three projections at back), connecting brows and drawn eye lids, three ring element at neck. Condition: Coiffure in fragmentary condition, native repairs.
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