Time Life photographer Eliot Elisofon photographed a group of Kyaman smiths at work crafting gold pendants in Anna Village, in 1972. Threads of wax were applied over a thin clay base to form the pendant. The wax surface was brushed with leaf juice to clean it and a mold was formed. Gold was then poured into the mold, which was broken after the metal had cooled. After documenting the entire process, he purchased this pendant and later gifted it to the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Cast gold alloy pendant in the form of a human face of horizontal wax thread construction with triangle cut outs on cheeks, half circle mouth and triangle cut out on the forehead.
Eliot Elisofon, New York, acquired Anna village, 1972 to 1973
Africa ReViewed: The Photographic Legacy of Eliot Elisofon, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., November 21, 2013-December 14, 2014
The Art of African Currency, International Monetary Fund, Washington, D.C., April 4-November 22, 2002
The Ancient West African City of Benin, A.D. 1300-1897, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., September 28, 1987-June 1, 2004
Park, Edwards. 1983. Treasures of the Smithsonian. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Books, p. 387.
Staples, Amy J. 2014. "Africa ReViewed: The Photographic Legacy of Eliot Elisofon." Tribal Art 19 (2), no. 71, p. 92, no. 24 (field photograph).