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
The woman who sculpted this head did so without making a sketch, working from her memory of the subject.
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.
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