West Africa, Ivory Coast or Liberia, Dan peoples, ca. 1930s CE. A hand-carved wooden ceremonial ladle (known as a "wakemia" or "wunkirmian," literally "spoon associated with feasts"), with a handle in the shape of a forked fish tail. The stem features a large diamond surmounted by a tapered triangle, and the ovoid scoop portion has a thick edge and intricately incised linear and geometric motifs on the verso. Dan artisans, when carving ceremonial objects like this one, looked to the natural world for inspiration, and then would oftentimes go beyond that into abstraction. The ownership of ladles like this example showed the prestige of individual women in society as they were symbolic of her generosity. Covered in incredibly lustrous patina, this is a gorgeous example from the Dan peoples! Size: 4" W x 16.7" H (10.2 cm x 42.4 cm); 18.3" H (46.5 cm) on included custom stand.
For a stylistically-similar example with an anthropomorphic-leg handle, please see The Metropolitan Museum of Art, accession number 1979.206.264
Provenance: private Tambaran collection, New York, New York, USA
All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.
A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all winning bids.
We ship worldwide to most countries and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.