Luba peoples
late 19th or early 20th century
more object details

General Description

African "pillows" are traditionally made of wood, ivory, or fired clay. The basic form of two platforms separated by a vertical post is consistent throughout Africa, from Egypt to South Africa, and throughout time, from antiquity to the present. This Luba headrest is decorated with the nkaka pattern, representing the scales of a pangolin (scaly anteater). This pattern is found on many important Luba royal emblems and objects used for rites that invoke spiritual aid.

Adapted from

Roslyn A. Walker, Label text, Arts of Africa, 2015.