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Comb

African Art

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Comb

Artwork Details

Artist/Maker

Yaka Artist, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Date

ca. late nineteenth–early twentieth century

Medium

Wood

Accession #

1980.500.71

Dimensions

6 1/4 x 1 x 3/4 inches

Location

Currently Not on View

Description

Yaka artists make a wide range of well-carved, decorated wooden objects, including face masks, combs, flywhisks, musical instruments, divination devices, and medicinal figures. The Yakas’ preference for embellishment is exemplified by this comb. A Yaka woman would have worn a comb like this in her hair as both a coiffure tool and an accessory that communicated her prosperity and social status. This comb is elaborately carved; the three teeth emerge from a square wooden handle, decorated with a carved pattern of short lines and topped with a head with an upturned nose.

Credit

Fred and Rita Richman Collection