Wood, paint, and iron alloy
Overall: 45.7 cm (18 in.)
Gift of Katherine C. White 1974.208
Boxes carved into animal shapes, like this goose, held kolanuts. A source of caffeine, the kolanut seed is harvested from evergreen tree fruits. Guests to Yorùbá homes are offered the bitter nuts as a sign of hospitality; sometimes nut-filled boxes are placed on shrines. As birds are used as sacrifices, this box can be seen as a double offering of both fowl and fruit. The carver shaped and painted this waterfowl with great detail: rimmed eyes, alternating feather colors, and jointed legs ending in three-toed feet. According to a Cleveland Museum of Natural History ornithologist, these details suggest an Egyptian goose.
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