Neck rests and head rests are personal items and status symbols that are widely used in Africa to keep the head and neck lifted up above the sleeping mat. The height, size, and stability of the neck or head rest are carefully and personally designed for the individual owner for maximum comfort. Durability is also an important feature since the owners frequently take the neck or head rest on their travels. In addition, neck and head rests also hold spiritual symbolism, as they are believed to link the owner to the ground. In some societies, they are believed to function as “antennae” to the ancestors, serving as a channel by which ancestors transferred dreams to the owner. Probably from the Hamar people in Southern Ethiopia. Carved from light wood. Simple, geometric lines and old patina.
H: 17 cm (approx. 7”)
Estimated age: early 20th century
Provenance: Austrian private collection