Monday, November 2, 2009

Boni and Ethiopian Headrest Profiles

Today we bring you two additional examples of the fine works in our Headrest Collection. These pieces are far more recently created than the last two ancient examples, but are none the less beautiful.

Boni Headrest from Somalia. This is a very interesting headrest. While many other headrests were made to be sturdy and support the neck and head while a person slept, this headrest seems light, unstable, and fragile. It was meant to be only strong enough to allow a warrior a very light sleep, for a deep, undisturbed sleep would be deleterious to the wellbeing of a tribe. This work is particularly fine for its light grained wood and patina, from years of use and watchful sleep. A close examination of the sides of the work will reveal interlaced, geometric carving.

The piece resembles the form of the head and horns of the Somalian bush cow.

Headrest from Ethiopia. This headrest stands in stark contrast the Somalian headrest – for all the levity that the previous piece brings, this piece is sturdy, solid, and functional. Yet this headrest from Ethiopia does not lose any of its elegance in form. This piece was carved of a single black of dark wood and has achieved a rich patina through the years. It is adorned with vertical and horizontal lines on the face, giving it a very geometric style. On the face is a lug that was used for tying a string around.