This staff is difficult to identify because of its simplified and streamlined, contemporary, cane-like form. The face depicted at the top, however, has the distinctive eyes and projecting chin typical of the Chokwe culture sculptures.
Like many other staffs from Central Africa, Chokwe staffs of office were used to document the status and lineage of the owner. In addition, Chokwe staffs were once used to call people to appear in court, where the chief’s court retainers would appear at the subject’s home with the staff. Staffs were also traditionally used in official ceremonial events such as court hearings, receptions, and enthronements. Researched by Jordan Seyer
For more information, you may contact the researcher(s) noted in the title of this exhibit entry, or Dr. Billie Follensbee, the professor of the course, at BillieFollensbee@MissouriState.edu