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Ceremonial spoon  (wa ke mia)
Date: Late 19th to mid-20th century
Medium: Wood, metal, oil patina
Dimensions: H x W x D: 62.5 x 16.5 x 8.5 cm (24 5/8 x 6 1/2 x 3 3/8 in.)
Credit Line: Gift of Walt Disney World Co., a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company
Geography: Liberia
Geography: Côte d'Ivoire
Object Number: 2005-6-58
Search Terms:
Status
Female use
female
mask
Object is not currently on exhibit

The Wee and other neighboring peoples honor the woman who can feed her household and accommodate, with a generous hand, unexpected visitors, traveling musicians and seasonal farm workers. The emblem of her achievement is a specially carved ceremonial spoon that may be a generalized portrait of the owner. On special occasions she holds the spoon as she dances with attendants. As in many African cultures, beauty is linked with moral values--in this case, hard work. The success of the woman also reflects the hard work and achievement of her husband, who supports her generosity.

Wood spoon with a handle in the form of a mask with slit eyes, a forehead ridge and metal teeth.

The Walt Disney-Tishman African Art Collection Highlights, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., May 21, 2009-June 4, 2014



African Vision: The Walt Disney-Tishman African Art Collection, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., February 15, 2007-March 31, 2009



For Spirits and Kings: African Art from the Paul and Ruth Tishman Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1981



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Arts connus et arts méconnus de l'Afrique noire, Collection Paul Tishman, Musee de l'Homme, Paris, 1966


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Sieber, Roy and Arnold Rubin. 1968. Sculpture of Black Africa: The Paul Tishman Collection. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, p. 56, no. 50.



Vogel, Susan (ed). 1981. For Spirits and Kings: African Art from the Paul and Ruth Tishman Collection. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 70-71, no. 33.


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