Advanced Search

K-12 Educator
K-12 Student
Museum Visitor
UMMA Docent
UMMA Staff
University Faculty
University Student
Between and Mortarboard


UMMA Object Specific Fields






Query builder

Staff

Accession Number
2001/2.56

Title
Staff

Artist(s)
Zulu

Object Creation Date
circa 1950

Medium & Support
wood

Dimensions
46 7/16 in x 1 9/16 in x 1 9/16 in (118 cm x 4 cm x 4 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Margaret H. and Albert J. Coudron

Subject matter
Zulu carvers, like other African artists, have long adapted their skills to serve different markets-- in this case, that of European buyers and of local dignitaries. The influx of British soldiers into the region following the Anglo-Boer and Southern African Wars of the late 19th century seems to have stimulated the production of staffs (and other carvings) originally intended for local consumption by either chiefs or, somewhat later on, wealthy individuals. The spiralling snake motif, in particular, is very common among many southern African peoples and has long been popular with colonial officers collecting souvenirs from the places where they were stationed. The varied relations between carvers of different backgrounds, adapting and inventing new styles, and a heterogeneous group of African and European buyers makes the attribution of objects to a single ethnic group problematic.

Physical Description
Slightly curved staff, topped by two snakes spiraling around each other, followed by an open-worked carving of three smaller "pillars" set between ornamental carved elements above and below. On the lower half of the staff are a series of carved, protruding knobs distributed around all sides of the shaft between carved ornamental bands.

Primary Object Classification
Costume and Costume Accessories

Primary Object Type
staff

Additional Object Classification(s)
Ritual Object

Collection Area
African

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
staff
staffs (walking sticks)

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted