An Unusual Carved Wooden Zulu, South African Headrest / Staff

An Unusual Carved Wooden Zulu, South African Headrest / Staff

1900 to 2000 South Africa ( Zulu )

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An Unusual Carved Wooden Zulu, South African Headrest / Staff
With poker work decoration
Early 20th Century

Size : 10 cm high, 81 cm long, 9 cm deep – 4 ins high, 32 ins long, 3½ ins deep
cf a similar headrest is illustrated in a photograph from an album of the Anglo-Zulu war of 1879 ( pg.28 ‘Curious and Valuable’ M.Stevenson and M.Graham-Stewart 2005 )
The legs on this headrest mimic the shape of a cows horns. Amongst the Zulu peoples cattle are thought to mediate between the living and the dead, and thus an individual could hope to communicate with the protective ancestors in their dreams whilst asleep on the headrest.
The black migrant diamond and gold mine workers of the early 20th century would use these headrests carrying them by their baton handle and resting them on their shoulders as they walked.

Dimensions
Height 10.00 cm (3.94 inches)
Width 81.00 cm (31.89 inches)
Depth 9.00 cm (3.54 inches)
Medium
wood and pokerwork
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