Only a very tiny small information : you can find the illustration of a Dinka headrest in "AFRICA : the Art of a Continent" - page 136.
Same book, p 145 : Gyriama posts.
That's all what I found until now.
mcnev77 <mcnevindt@...> wrote:
I have been traveling since shortly after the group was founded in
I have settled for awhile back in the States for the first time in
I thought the group might like to see some rare pieces from East
Africa...I say rare because, unlike Weatern African art, E.African
art is not published or nearly to the same degree.
Here is what I have posted:
1. Kikuyu healer/medicine man mortor and pestles...collected from
the foothills below Mt. Kenya. These are the only two have ever
seen. Each belonged to men aged over 80 years and were pasted to
them by their predecessors. Through a translator I have the history
of these beauties first hand. The small one is carved out of a
solid block of ivory, the larger is hollow naturally. The
one has a "spoon" w/ wildebeast tail...hard to see in the photo.
The spoon is meant to slide through the space in the lower front of
the jaw where the two front teeth have been removed...this tooth
extraction is no longer practised by the Kikuyu. The Kikuyu ethnic
group, from which Kenya's first President, Jomo Kenyatta, hails, is
the largest and has held the most political power in Kenya since
2. Dinka ivory headrest that I collected in Southern Sudan. It
belonged to a revered Uncle of John Garang, leader of the SPLA
insurgents and the first Vice President in the new peace...he
recently died in a plane crash. Collected in 1998.
3. Masaii "pillow" ivory headrest. Note the hole where a rungu
once fit...sadly, that was lost long ago by the time this was
4. Giryama kigango post. I collected this on the Kenyan coast.
According to it's owners, it was
erected in the early 1960s to honor
an important relative who had died much earlier. It took five
yeaars of searching for a family willing to sell one...this family
felt it was time, they said, because nobody could remember the name
or deeds of the man honored in the carving.
5. Kikuyu sword and knife. Again, collected in a village at the
foot of Mt Kenya. It belonged to a member and fighter against the
British in the Mau Mau revolution. The man's 90(?) year old wife
sold it to me. The set has matching ivory handles and the blades
are forged from the "iron sands", the secret locations where
blacksmith obtained the iron-rich sands to smelt into lades...the B
ritish never did find the majority of these still unkwown locations.
6. Toposa/Didinga power walking stick. This stick is a two tribe
deal...the ivory ball is a Toposa "dowry" thumb-ball used by that
tribe to seal marraige deals...it
has at one point, most likely by
raiding exploits, been adapted onto a a stick by the Didinga tribe.
7. Various dinka bracelets aquired over many trips to Sudan.
Please have a look and let me know if anyone has seen items like
these before in musuems or published, excepting the bracelets and
kigango post of course.
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