Headrest, Kambatta, Ethiopia
This piece is beautifully engraved Kambatta Headrest with geometric engravings caved from one piece of wood, beautiful patina from age and much use.
Headrests are used by many nomadic people of Eastern Africa while resting or sleeping. It is popularly believed that the headrest serves a protective function by elevating the head off the ground during sleep, thereby preventing any possible attack by snakes or scorpions.
Ethiopia is the oldest independent nation of Africa, and is home to a myriad of peoples with over 80 different spoken languages. The Kambatta reside west of the Gurage, along the banks of the upper Omo River. Ethiopian men generally use these headrest for sleeping and to keep their elaborate coiffures off the ground.
Dewey William, J., “Sleeping Beauties – The Jerome Joss Collection of Headrests at UCLA”
Gunter Best, Marakwet & Turkana. New Perspectives on the Material Culture of East African Societies, Museum fur Volkerkunde, Frankfurt, 1993.
Age: Est. 40-60 year.
Provenance: Bought from a South African art gallery in 1997.Request price for Kambatta