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Large Akan Comb With Bird Motif, Ghana (Ex Sandro Volta Collection)


Large Comb With Bird Motif. Akan Culture, Ghana

A bird, with a large beak and claws, decorates the body of this Akan duafe comb. The imagery of a gun and snake, found below the bird, often appears in Akan art – for example, among Akan gold weights. A series of zigzag and geometric design provide further adornment to the surface of the comb.

The large size of this duafe comb indicates that it would have been proudly displayed in an Akan household, as a prized possession. Among the Akan, elaborate hair combs were typically commissioned and gifted to women by admirers or male members of the family in order to mark special occasions, such as puberty celebrations, weddings or births. The iconography and imagery of Akan duafe combs have layers of meaning, drawing on Akan legends and proverbs, while also illustrating the relationship between the woman and the man who gifted the comb.

Ex Sandro Volta Collection, Switzerland

Estimated Period: First Half of 20th Century


(Click on images to enlarge)

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H: 31 CM
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