late 1600s-early 1700s


Overall: 19.1 x 13.6 x 15.5 cm (7 1/2 x 5 3/8 x 6 1/8 in.)

Edwin R. and Harriet Pelton Perkins Memorial Fund 1990.22


Before they died, Akan royal family members commissioned terracotta portraits, including heads like this one, from female artists. After royal burials, these idealized substitutes were placed in sacred groves outside the village where they were the focus of periodic libations, offerings, and prayers. The knobs on the head imitate a once popular male hairstyle having a tufted pattern.

See also
African Art
African Art
Type of artwork: 

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