For additional detail, click on any photo below to see the higher resolution version of the image.
For additional detail, click on any photo below to see the higher resolution version of the image.
wood, copper, aluminum, iron, pigment
47" tall
early 20th century
ex New York City collection

$1500


As in many other cultures, scepters in Chokwe art were symbols of authority and power. The male and female
heads, most likely representing an ancestral couple, share the outline of a chief's crown. The copper and
aluminum elements added status value to the staff.

This class of object possessed symbolic meaning in that they referred to the beneficial powers of the ancestors
who endorsed and guaranteed the chief's temporal power. The spear tip which forms the base of the sceptre
would have been used to anchor it in the ground in front of the
muyombo, the ancestors' tree, which was a place
of veneration and communion during ritual prayers and offerings to the ancestors.