Jun 12, 2009

Pendant: Face

Pendant: Face

1900s

Gold

Overall: 7.6 x 5 cm (3 x 1 15/16 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1954.602

Description

Cast using the lost-wax method, gold objects are the only Baule art forms associated with ancestral spirits. Usually stored in suitcases or pots, a collection of gold adornments (aja) are displayed on important occasions such as funerals. They are laid out around the corpse before burial as a sign of respect and their family's wealth. Faces such as this pendant are said to be idealized portraits of friends or lovers. This depiction of a man has a beard and elaborately styled hair.

See also
Collection: 
African Art
Department: 
African Art
Type of artwork: 
Jewelry
Medium: 
Gold

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