Height: 32 cm
Provenance: private collection, Italy.
Illustrating the double nature that can exist in classical African art, Akan Duafe combs represent the combination between art and function.
These decorative combs are used by Akan women to comb and arrange their hair, but also to ornament already braided hairdos. In the past, Duafe combs were also used to pay tribute to men who passed by, as written by Marees in 1602: “They have long combs with only two teeth, each one measures the size of a finger, inserted in their hair, they comb it because they are bothered by lice; they also use their combs for salutations or reverences, done to men; hence, when they wish a good tomorrow, they remove their combs from their hair and place them back, as a sort of reverence...”
Usually offered to women by their brothers, fathers, admirers and husbands, to mark commemorative events (including celebrations of puberty, marriages and births), the iconography on Duafe combs reflects the relation between the woman and the man who offered this comb.
Some sources point out that an attractive woman with many suitors can possess up to five combs in her collection.
Akan queen-mothers and women of royal courts own special combs indicating their rank. Crafted by sculptors devoted to royalty, royal Duafe combs are usually more elaborate and beautiful-looking.
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Tags: mask, figurine, sculpture, figure, statuette, wood, art, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, USA, Dogon, contemporary, first, primitive, tribal, African, antiquity, artwork, gallery, Picasso, Giacometti, art gallery, African art, cubism.
- 32×0×0 cm