Staff Finial


Osei Bonsu (Asante Artist, Ghana, 1900–1977)


mid–late 1930s


Wood and gold leaf


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Purchase in honor of Linda Foley, Art Partners President, 2005–2006, with High Museum of Art Enhancement Fund

Accession #


On View

On View - Stent Family Wing, Skyway, Gallery 410

This finial was created to adorn the top of a tall staff carried by a royal counselor. Its imagery refers to the idea that although Akan chiefs are renowned for their wisdom, no chief should make decisions alone or function without a cabinet of akyeame, or counselors. It was carved by Osei Bonsu, the greatest Akan sculptor of the twentieth century. He began carving when he was ten years old and acted as the official sculptor for all of the Asante kings, or Asantehene, of the twentieth century. He also visited the United States twice and carved objects for two American presidents: Franklin Roosevelt and Gerald Ford.

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