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Encased Horse Head

Artist/Maker: Nigeria, Igbo people

Date: 20th century
Medium: horse skull, plant fiber and encrustation
Overall: 12 1/4 x 22 x 9 1/2 in. (31.1 x 55.9 x 24.1 cm)
Classification: Art Works
Credit Line: Gift of Dr. Marcilene Wittmer
Object number: 2002.49.1
DescriptionHighly titled men who are family heads build their own house, called an obu, which they are entitled to line with carved wooden panels and to hang basketry with encased skulls of animals (cattle and horses) sacrificed to be consumed at family feasts. The obu serves as a kind of audience hall for the family head. The basketry covered skulls (or just bare skulls) are hung in rows from the ceiling and serve as a kind of backdrop and authentication that he has performed his duties.
Not on view
In Collection(s)