Spoon - Wood - Wakemia - Dan - Liberia

Spoon - Wood - Wakemia - Dan - Liberia
Mid 20th century - Excellent condition, barely used with minimal signs of wear

A Fine Dan Spoon also named Wekemia with abstract scarifications on the handle.

PROVENANCE: -Private Belgian collection, early 70 's.

HEIGHT: H = 41 cm , 44 cm on metal stand ( included in your package ).

The Dan Tribe is from Liberia near Sierra Leone in Africa. The Dan spoons where reserved for woman and a sign of Presitige and rank in the society.

These ceremonial ladle spoons, known as wunkirmian or wakemia (which translates as "spoon associated with feasts") are badges of prestige acknowledging an individual woman for her incomparable generosity. They are not so much utilitarian objects rather than symbols of status and the bearer of spiritual powers...

In addition to being emblems of honor, wunkirmian also hold spiritual power (Himmelheber and Tabmen 1965, 177). They are a Dan woman's chief liaison with the power of the spirit world and a symbol of that connection. In the words of a wunkirle, Doa, the ladles contain "all the power and fame of the wunkirle" (Johnson 1987, 19).

read more at metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/312458


Fischer, E. and H. Himmelheber. 1991. "Spoons of the Dan (Liberia/Ivory Coast)." Looking-Serving-Eating-Emblems of Abundance. Homberger, L., ed. Zurich: Museum Rietberg.

Himmelheber, H. and Wowoa Tame-Tabmen. "Wunkirle, die gastlichste Frau." In Festschrift Alfred Bühler, ed. Carl M. Schmitz. Basel: Pharos Verlag, 1965, pp. 171-181.

Lot details
Indigenous object name
Ethnic group/ culture
Region/ country
Mid 20th century
Excellent condition, barely used with minimal signs of wear
Sold with stand
41×11×4 cm
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