South African Zulu Carved Hardwood Prestige Dance Staff and Club
South African Zulu Carved Hardwood Prestige Dance Staff and Club

South African Zulu Carved Hardwood Prestige Dance Staff and Club

1800 to 1900 South Africa

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A Superb South African Zulu Carved Hardwood Prestige Dance Staff and Club
Smooth velvety patina, pronounced tigering in the rippled hard wood shaft and head
19th Century

Size: 48cm long – 19 ins long
See: Finch and Co catalogue no. 8, item no. 41, for another Zulu dance staff
This rare and elegant staff of anthropomorphic form would have been used as a prestige item on festive occasions like weddings and celebrations, in honour of the ancestors, by chiefs or men of great rank. It would have been beaten against a small dance shield.
Enormous symbolic power and value was often attached to Zulu staffs of this calibre as they had a capacity to contain an ancestral presence as well as being intimately bound up with the identity of the man to whom it belonged. Seen from different angles this staff imitates the head of a man, cow and bird.
Medium
Wood
Finch & Co

Finch & Co
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2 Old Brompton Road
London
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England

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