Probably from the Chokwe related Lwena peoples, this comb features a female head. It displayed the elaborate cushion hairstyle that would need combs and reflects the woman's status. The imported brass tack is another embellishment associated with wealth and status.
Comb with eight teeth surmounted by human head in profile and bearing incised design on the front and back. Head has tack at front of the elaborately carved coiffure and simple coffee bean eyes.
William Brill, New York, -- to 1968
The Language of African Art, Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution Fine Arts & Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C., May 24-September 7, 1970, nos. 395-396
Museum of African Art. 1970. The Language of African Art, A Guest Exhibition of the Museum of African Art at the Smithsonian Institution Fine Arts & Portrait Gallery Building. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, no. 395-396 (not illustrated).