Bird Standard

Bird Standard

early to mid-1900s

Wood and upholstery studs

Overall: 42 cm (16 9/16 in.)

Gift of Katherine C. White 1974.204


An eagle depicted in flight originally surmounting a long staff, the bird standard is offered to the winner of a hoeing contest between young men. The competition is not only meant to promote social cohesion and solidarity, it also serves to encourage fertility. Honoring the endurance of a victorious farmer, such a bird standard is also used as a display sculpture during the funeral of a former champion or a member of his courtyard or family unit.

See also
African Art
African Art
Type of artwork: 

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