Snuff Spoon

Snuff Spoon

late 1800s

Bone

Overall: 17.8 cm (7 in.)

Gift of Dori and Daniel Rootenberg, Jacaranda Tribal, New York 2010.234

Fun Fact

Such spoons were typically worn as ornaments in the hair or even the beard, signaling the social standing of their wearer.

Description

Often, snuff spoons made from the rib of an ox or cow were subtly carved to suggest a female body. Decorated with incised designs blackened with cattle fat and ash, many are true hybrid objects, combining a spoon with a long-tined comb or hairpin. Such spoons were typically worn as ornaments in the hair or even the beard, thus signaling the social standing of their wearer.

See also
Collection: 
African Art
Department: 
African Art
Type of artwork: 
Sculpture
Medium: 
Bone

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