Azande Hairpin from the Sudan or Congo. This hairpin is made from ivory and has a very interesting and unusual form. In this case, a person’s hair was likely wound through and around the circular top of this hairpin. Hairpins like this fine example were mainly ceremonial, luxury or prestige objects and often owned by tribal leaders and created by the finest African artists.
Writing Board from Nigeria, Chad or Sudan. This is an incredibly fine object from the Ginzberg Collection and certainly not something that you’ll see every day in fine art collections. Tablets like this one were used widely across Islamic Africa including in Nigeria, Chad and Sudan. Writing boards were used as a slate in order to help school boys practice their writing skills, specifically to help them learn Arabic. Additionally, some individuals kept boards with a chapter of the Koran inscribed on to them, to use as a devotional object. The writing board that we have on display is particularly extraordinary as one can see the faint remains of a verse of the Koran in ancient handwriting. It is truly an extraordinary piece and offers a rare insight into African educational and devotional practices.
Both of these objects, along with many others, are on view at Jacaranda Tribal’s website: www.JacarandaTribal.com. And, remember, to check back to our blog next week for further profiles of objects in the collection.