This is a stylized unusual headrest from the Karamajong, an ethnic group of agro-pastoral herders living mainly in north-eastern Uganda. Headrests appear like simple pieces of craftmanship but they are of aesthetic value. They possess significance value and they have artistic status, they mean more than just mere objects. These pillow-like objects are some of the most distinctive East African articrafts. Headrests symbolized high social status or magical power such as the gift of foretelling. Headrests are also traditionally believed to protect elaborated headdresses, headrests are no longer a feature of modern life in this region.
This fine headrest supposedly holds special powers. It has an elongated central support poised on two short feet. This piece could also be inherited from a deceased father or grandfather. The owner was thought to be capable of passing messages from ancestors to the community. The tall pillar separates the platform of the headrest from the ground to keep the owner alert to the sounds of night winds. This artifact has a curved platform and round edges and also a leather handle, It has brown wonderful patina, clear signs of usage and old age.
Material: Hardwood, leather
|Dimensions||2.7 × 14 × 18.2 cm|