Exhibitions

Online Exhibition

Intersections: World Arts, Local Lives explores the roles that art plays in creating meaning and defining purpose for people across the globe. Art is not only a reflection of culture but can actively shape thought and experience. The objects on display have all intervened in the lives of those who made or used them—whether to educate, solve problems, assert leadership, assist in remembering, or provision loved ones in the afterlife. This exhibition offers a glimpse into the local histories and contexts of these objects and the stories and performances that surround them.

The objects featured in the exhibition are primarily from Africa, Asia, the Pacific, and the Americas and they range in date from the third millennium b.c.e. to the present. They were selected from the Fowler Museum’s extensive holdings of world arts on the basis of their exceptional artistic merit, as well as the many ways in which they conceptually intersect with each other. Major sections of the exhibition consider how arts from diverse cultures have served as vehicles of action, knowledge, power, and transformation.

While the aesthetic qualities of the objects and the contexts of their use have enabled these works to elicit wonder, impart wisdom, and tangibly affect the lives of people, it is important to remember that societies are not static. Encounters with other peoples and new ideas ensure that artistic traditions remain vital and relevant. Intersections presents enduring traditions while also bringing attention to the dynamism and brilliance of world arts as they respond to a constantly changing world.

 

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Art and Action

This section considers these ideas in relation to the objects and their makers. It celebrates the artists of these works as important cultural actors and demonstrates how artists from the societies represented were pioneers and explorers. Pushing the boundaries of the knowable world through their creations, they produced channels through which humans could mediate myriad relationships, both earthly and divine.

 

The Work of Art

The works in this exhibition are the products of artistic virtuosity and consummate skill. At the same time, they were created to fulfill specific purposes and roles in people’s lives. Their artistry and aesthetic presence were critical to their effectiveness. The outward appearance of an object—including its form and iconography—contributes to its ability to work, that is, its capacity to act. The beliefs and concepts that give objects power and meaning in turn dictate their aesthetic appearance. In other words, how art looks has much to do with how it works: form and function are closely intertwined.

  • X65.4344 Eharo Mask

    X65.4344 Eharo Mask

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    Eharo mask
    Elema peoples, Papuan Gulf, Papua New Guinea
    Early 20th century
    Barkcloth, plant fiber, wood, human hair, paint, feathers
    X65.4344; Gift of the Wellcome Trust.

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  • X65.5837 Power figure

    X65.5837 Power figure

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    Object Name: Power figure (nkisi nkondi)

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Yombe peoples

    Place of Origin: Democratic Republic of the Congo

    Date/Era: 18th-19th century

    Medium/Materials: Wood, metal, nails, mirrors, cloth, cordage, beads, cowrie shell

    Dimensions: H: 114.3 cm

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of the Wellcome Trust.

    Accession Number: X65.5837

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  • Wood, barkcloth, human hair, feathers, bamboo, cotton thread, and plant fiber Mask

    X65.7799 Mask

    X65.7799 Mask

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    Object Name: Mask

    Artist: Unknown

    Place of Origin: New Caledonia, Melanesia

    Date/Era: 19th century

    Dimensions: H: 188.00 cm, W: 55.00 cm, D: 25.50 cm

    Medium/Materials: Wood, barkcloth, human hair, feathers, bamboo, cotton thread, plant fiber

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of the Wellcome Trust.

    Accession Number: X65.7799

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  • Wood Yoruba Palace door-panels

    X69.66AB Palace door-panels

    X69.66AB Palace door-panels

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    Object Name: Palace door-panels

    Artist: Atelier of Areogun

    Culture: Yoruba peoples

    Place of Origin: Nigeria

    Date/Era: Early to mid-20th century

    Medium/Materials: Wood

    Dimensions: H: 182 cm

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Museum purchase.

    Accession Number: X69.66AB

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  • X95.5.1 Crown

    X95.5.1 Crown

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    Object Name: Crown

    Artist: José Rodriguez (b. 1956)

    Place of Origin: Brooklyn, New York, United States

    Culture: Yoruba peoples

    Date/Era: 1997

    Dimensions: W: 22.0 cm, D: 24.0 cm, H: 60.5 cm (W: 8.7 in, D: 9.4 in, H: 23.8 in)

    Medium/Materials: Beads, thread, feathers, fabric, wood, shells

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Museum purchase, Commissioned by the Fowler Museum.

    Accession Number: X95.5.1

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  • X97.50.57 Head cloth

    X97.50.57 Head cloth

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    Head cloth (kain tangkuluak)
    Minangkabau peoples
    Pariangan, West Sumatra Province, Indonesia, 19th century
    Silk, gold-wrapped thread, ramie
    X97.50.57; Gift of Anne and John Summerfield

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  • X97.50.69 Shoulder cloth

    X97.50.69 Shoulder cloth

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    Not currently on View in Intersections

    Minangkabau peoples
    Padang Magek, West Sumatra Province, Indonesia
    19th century
    Silk, gold-wrapped thread
    L: 267.0 cm, W: 84.5 cm (L: 105.1 in, W: 33.3 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Anne and John Summerfield. X97.50.69

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Beauty and Purpose: Art That Works

Artistry and aesthetic excellence may infuse even the most ordinary of objects. The Fowler collections include many objects intended for domestic or daily use—ranging from vessels to implements and furniture—which nonetheless reflect a masterful conjoining of form with function.

Even the humblest of objects may be embellished and enhanced in ways that elevate everyday work and imbue it with special significance and value. While many of these may appear to be purely utilitarian, they often served a symbolic purpose far beyond that revealed at first glance. For example, a chair may be used for sitting but may also serve as an emblem of authority. Similarly, a headrest may be used as a pillow, while at the same time facilitating communication with the ancestors through dreams. An object may fulfill several roles at once and have multiple layers of meaning and significance.

Many of the objects in this section are presented in groupings to show how much can be gained by looking at variations within a single genre. In addition to singular, one-of-a-kind works of art, the Fowler collections have many objects in multiples, allowing us to appreciate individual artists’ innovations on particular object types.

The Versatile Gourd

The fruit of the gourd, one of Africa’s earliest cultivated plants, has long been employed for purposes ranging from the obvious to the ingenious. The hollowed-out shells of gourds are used for storage or for serving food and drink. Gourds may also be used to make musical instruments, smoking pipes, fishing floats, or ritual regalia. The bowls shown here are from northeastern Nigeria where distinctive designs can be identified with particular ethnic groups and even particular artists. Women decorate most gourds, and this is a primary means for them to express their creativity and technical mastery. When food is served in these beautifully ornamented bowls, it is said that the meal becomes “better to eat.”

  • X83.677 Bowl

    X83.677 Bowl

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    Object Name: Bowl

    Artist: Mairamu Kubo (active mid-20th century)

    Cultural Group: Dera peoples

    Place of Origin: Nigeria

    Date: Circa 1970

    Dimension: Gourd

    Materials Used: L: 20.9 cm, D: 23.5 cm (L: 8.2 in, D: 9.3 in)

    Credit Line and Assession Number: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Barbara Rubin-Hudson. X83.677

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  • X83.687 Bowl

    X83.687 Bowl

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    Bowl
    Artist: Jumai Pitiri Gulcoss
    Tera peoples
    Nigeria
    Circa 1970
    Gourd
    H: 11.5 cm, Diam: 24.0 cm (H: 4.5 in, Diam: 9.4 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Barbara Rubin-Hudson. X83.687

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  • X83.797 Bowl

    X83.797 Bowl

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    Bowl
    Kanuri peoples
    Nigeria
    Circa 1970
    Gourd
    L: 11.2 in, D: 11.7 in (L: 4.4 in, D: 4.6 in)
    Gift of Barbara Rubin-Hudson. X83.797

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  • X85.12 Bowl

    X85.12 Bowl

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    Bowl
    Artist: Ndinuwa Jebre
    Gaäanda peoples
    Nigeria
    1974
    Gourd and charcoal
    H: 12.2 cm, L: 24.5 cm, W: 17.5 cm (H: 4.8 in, L: 9.6 in, W: 6.9 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Bruce and Linda Friedman. X85.12

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  • X85.51 Bowl

    X85.51 Bowl

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    Bowl
    Waja peoples
    Nigeria
    Circa 1980
    Gourd and chalk
    H: 23.6 cm, D: 24.6 cm (H: 9.3 in, D: 9.7 in)
    Gift of Bruce and Linda Friedman. X85.51

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Resting the Head

Because the head is frequently associated with spiritual power and the concentrated essence of a human being, the object on which it rests is often a revered art form.   In East and Central Africa wooden supports are constructed to cradle the neck during sleep and to protect an elaborate coiffure, a key aspect of individual identity and status. Such supports can also serve as vehicles for bridging human and ancestral realms. From ancient to modern times East Asian peoples have made pillows from a wide variety of materials, including stone, clay, wood, grass, bamboo, rattan, and cloth. Through their form and decorative motifs, many of these provide clues to a group’s social and spiritual life. Among Pacific peoples elaborate headrests serve as prestige items elevating one’s position in society.

  • X86.2409 Headrest

    X86.2409 Headrest

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    Headrest
    Tonga or Fiji
    Wood
    19th-early 20th century
    W: 47.0 cm, H: 16.0 cm, D: 14.5 cm (W: 18.5 in, H: 6.2 in, D: 5.7 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. The Jerome L. Joss Collection. X86.2409

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  • X86.2455 Headrest

    X86.2455 Headrest

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    Headrest
    Tonga or Fiji
    Wood and plant fiber
    19th-early 20th century
    W: 41.5 cm, H: 13.2 cm, D: 13.5 cm (W: 16.3 in, H: 5.1 in, D: 5.3 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. The Jerome L. Joss Collection. X86.2455

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  • X88.301 Headrest

    X88.301 Headrest

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    Headrest
    Kenya
    Rendille peoples
    Wood and metal
    19th- early 20th century
    W: 36.2 cm, H: 22.2 cm, D: 19.0 cm (W: 14.2 in, H: 8.7 in, D: 7.4 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. The Jerome L. Joss Collection. X88.301

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  • X90.428 Headrest

    X90.428 Headrest

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    Headrest
    Egypt
    Old Kingdrom
    Alabaster
    2290-2155 B.C.E.
    H: 22.5 cm, W: 21.6 cm (H: 8.8 in, W: 8.5 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. The Jerome L. Joss Collection. X90.428

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  • X91.325 Headrest

    X91.325 Headrest

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    Headrest
    Democratic Republic of the Congo
    Mbala or Teke peoples
    Wood
    19th-early 20th century
    H: 16.8cm, W: 15.5 cm, D: 11.5 cm (H: 6.6 in, W: 6.1 in, D: 4.5 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. The Jerome L. Joss Collection. X91.325

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  • X91.59 Headrest

    X91.59 Headrest

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    Headrest
    Kenya or Uganda
    Pokot, Turkana, or Karamajong peoples
    Leather, beads, wood, string
    19th-early 20th century
    H: 20 cm, W: 11.6 cm, D: 5 cm (H: 7.8 in, W: 4.5 in, D: 1.9 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. The Jerome L. Joss Collection. X91.59

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  • X91.60 Headrest

    X91.60 Headrest

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    Headrest
    Democratic Republic of the Congo
    Luba peoples
    Wood and copper
    19th century
    H: 15.5 cm, W: 9.9 cm, D: 8.5 cm (H: 6.1 in, W: 3.8 in, D: 3.3 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. The Jerome L. Joss Collection. X91.60

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  • X92.16 Headrest

    X92.16 Headrest

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    Headrest
    Cenderawasih Bay, West Papua (New Guinea), Indonesia
    19th-early 20th century
    Wood
    H: 18.0 cm, W: 16.5 cm, D: 5.5 cm (H: 7.1 in, W: 6.5 in, D: 2.2 in)
    The Jerome L. Joss Collection. X92.16

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 Sealed With a “Quid”

A slice of areca nut and a dab of slaked lime, rolled inside a betel leaf—these are the basic ingredients of the betel quid chewed by millions of people in Asia and the Pacific. Betel is a mild stimulant, activated by chewing these ingredients together. Its social meanings are myriad. It may be prepared by a lover, exchanged with in-laws to propose a marriage, extended in welcome to friends or enemies, or accepted as a sign of deference to authority. The care and the precious materials invested in making the beautiful implements used to prepare betel—including areca nut cutters, mortars, and lime spatulas—are testimony to the importance of all things sealed with a quid.

  • X65.7769 Lime spatula

    X65.7769 Lime spatula

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    Lime spatula
    Trobriand Islands, Papua New Guinea
    19th-20th century
    Wood and lime
    L: 29.0 cm, W: 3.5 cm, D: .50 cm (L: 11.4 in, W: 1.3 in, D: .19 in)
    Gift of the Wellcome Trust. X65.7769

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  • X65.7770 Lime spatula

    X65.7770 Lime spatula

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    Object Name: Lime spatula

    Artist: Unknown

    Place of Origin: Trobriand Islands, Papua New Guinea

    Date: 19th-20th century

    Dimensions: L: 28.00 cm, W: 8.00 cm, D: 1.50 cm

    Materials Used: Wood

    Credit Line and Accession Number: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of the Wellcome Trust. X65.7770

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  • X65.7774 Lime spatula

    X65.7774 Lime spatula

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    Lime spatula
    Trobriand Islands, Papua New Guinea
    19th-20th century
    Wood
    L: 34.5 cm, W: 3.0 cm (L: 13.5 in, W: 1.1 in)
    Gift of the Wellcome Trust. X65.7774

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  • X65.7775 Lime spatula

    X65.7775 Lime spatula

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    Lime spatula
    Trobirand Islands, Papua New Guinea
    19th-20th century
    Wood, cotton thread, shells, bead
    L: 29.0 cm, W: 3.0 cm, D: 3.5 cm (L: 11.4 in, W: 1.2 in, D: 1.4 in)
    Gift of the Wellcome Trust. X65.7775

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  • X94.24.13 Pestle for a betel mortar

    X94.24.13 Pestle for a betel mortar

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    Pestle for a betel mortar
    Indonesia
    Horn and iron
    20th century
    L: 25.0 cm, W: 3.5 cm, D: 5.0 cm (L: 9.8 in, W: 1.3 in, D: 1.9 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Museum Purchase. X94.24.13

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  • X95.38.100 Areca nut cutter, dragon

    X95.38.100 Areca nut cutter, dragon

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    Areca nut cutter, dragon
    Southern China
    Steel, buffalo horn, rattan
    19th-20th century
    L: 16.5 cm, W: 10.0 cm, H: 3.0 cm (L: 6.4 in, W: 3.9 in, H: 1.1 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Samuel Eilenberg. X95.38.100

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  • X95.38.155 Areca nut cutter (kacip) in the form of a stag

    X95.38.155 Areca nut cutter (kacip) in the form of a stag

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    Object Name: Areca nut cutter (kacip) in the form of a stag

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Javanese peoples

    Place of Origin: North Coast of Java, Indonesia

    Date/Era: 19th to 20th century

    Medium/Materials: Iron, silver

    Dimensions: L: 27.6 cm, W: 13.0 cm, H: 2.8 cm (L: 10.8 in, W: 5.1 in, H: 1.1 in)

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Samuel Eilenberg.

    Accession Number: X95.38.155

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  • X95.38.157 Areca nut cutter, the warrior Arjuna

    X95.38.157 Areca nut cutter, the warrior Arjuna

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    Areca nut cutter, the warrior Arjuna
    North Coast of Java, Indonesia
    Iron and silver
    19th-20th century
    L: 29.0 cm, W: 8.5 cm, H: 1.3 cm (L: 11.4 in, W: 3.3 in, H: .51 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Samuel Eilenberg. X95.38.157

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  • X95.38.177 Areca nut cutter (kacip) in the form of a mythical lion (singha)

    X95.38.177 Areca nut cutter (kacip) in the form of a mythical lion (singha)

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    Object Name: Areca nut cutter (kacip) in the form of a mythical lion (singha)

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Balinese peoples

    Place of Origin: Bali, Indonesia

    Date/Era: 19th century

    Medium/Materials: Iron, gold, quartz

    Dimensions: L: 21.2 cm, W: 9.6 cm, H: 3.0 cm (L: 8.3 in, W: 3.7 in, H: 1.1 in)

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Samuel Eilenberg.

    Accession Number: X95.38.177

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  • X95.38.207a,b Betel mortar

    X95.38.207a,b Betel mortar

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    Object Name: Betel mortar

    Artist: Unknown

    Place of Origin: Lombok, Indonesia

    Date: 19th-20th century

    Dimensions: L: 16.50 cm, W: 3.20 cm, H: 3.70 cm

    Materials Used: Horn, iron, brass, wood

    Credit Line and Accession Number: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Samuel Eilenberg. X95.38.207a,b

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  • X95.38.36 Areca nut cutter, elephant

    X95.38.36 Areca nut cutter, elephant

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    Areca nut cutter, elephant
    Bengal, India
    Silver and glass
    Early 20th century
    L: 13.3 cm, W: 5.5 cm, H: .80 cm (L: 5.2 in, W: 2.1 in, H: .31 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Samuel Eilenberg. X95.38.36

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  • X95.38.57 Areca nut cutter, saluki hound

    X95.38.57 Areca nut cutter, saluki hound

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    Areca nut cutter, saluki hound
    Golconda, Andhra Pradesh, India
    Iron and brass
    16th-17th century
    L: 22.5 cm, W: 8.5 cm, H: 1.5 cm (L: 8.8 in, W: 3.3 in, H: .59 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Samuel Eilenberg. X95.38.57

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  • X95.38.75 Areca nut cutter, pair of lovers

    X95.38.75 Areca nut cutter, pair of lovers

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    Areca nut cutter, pair of lovers
    Tamil Nadu, India
    Brass
    16th-17th century
    L: 16.0 cm, W: 10.5 cm, H: 4.0 cm (L: 6.2 in, W: 4.1 in, H: 1.5 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Samuel Eilenberg. X95.38.75

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  • X95.38.93 Areca nut cutter, mythical creature

    X95.38.93 Areca nut cutter, mythical creature

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    Areca nut cutter, mythical creature
    Kandy, Sri Lanka
    Silvered brass
    19th-20th century
    L: 21.5 cm, W: 9.0 cm, H: 2.5 cm (L: 8.4 in, W: 3.5 in, H: .98 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Samuel Eilenberg. X95.38.93

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Capturing Beauty

Japanese basket makers capture the beauty of carefully selected natural materials in their constructions. These materials are intended to harmonize with the meticulously arranged formal floral compositions (ikebana) that will be placed within the finished basket. In traditional-style Japanese houses, flower arrangements in baskets may be placed in a recessed alcove, called the tokonoma. This is a space that evolved from what was originally an altar, the sacred center of the home. The basket and floral arrangement are used as key elements in setting the emotional tone of the household.

  • X87.171 Flower basket

    X87.171 Flower basket

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    Flower basket
    Japan
    19th-20th century
    Bamboo, tree root, rattan
    H: 45.5 cm, W: 29.0 cm, D: 27.0 cm (H: 17.9 in, W: 11.4 in, D: 10.6 in)
    Gift of Nancy and Richard Bloch. X87.171

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  • X87.172 Flower basket

    X87.172 Flower basket

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    Flower basket
    Hanakago
    Japan
    19th-20th century
    Bamboo and rattan
    H: 51.2 cm, W: 18.0 cm, D: 18.0 cm (H: 20.2 in, W: 7.1 in, D: 7.1 in)
    Gift of Nancy and Richard Bloch. X87.172

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  • X87.181 Flower basket

    X87.181 Flower basket

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    Flower basket
    Japan
    Bamboo, plant fiber
    19th-20th century
    W: 24.0 cm, H: 38.0 cm, D: 22.0 cm (W: 9.4 in, H: 14.9 in, D: 8.6 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Nancy and Richard Bloch. X87.181

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  • X87.189 Flower basket

    X87.189 Flower basket

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    Flower basket
    Japan
    Bamboo, plant fiber
    19th-20th century
    W: 34.0 cm, H: 33.0 cm, D: 20.0 cm (W: 13.3 in, H: 12.9 in, D: 7.8 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Nancy and Richard Bloch. X87.189

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  • X87.206 Flower basket

    X87.206 Flower basket

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    Flower basket
    Japan
    Bamboo, plant fiber
    19th-20th century
    H: 38.0 cm, W: 37.0 cm, D: 30.0 cm (H: 14.9 in, W: 14.5 in, D: 11.8 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Nancy and Richard Bloch. X87.206

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For Home and Hearth

Fowler collections are rich in domestic implements and household furnishings from around the world that reflect imaginative formal solutions to the design of otherwise functional objects. The various objects shown here from East and Central Africa, Borneo, and New Guinea reveal the love for beauty in daily routines. From kitchen hooks to trinket boxes, from baby carriers to chairs, these objects enhanced daily life and household chores through their elegance and meaning.

  • X65.5471a-b Container

    X65.5471a-b Container

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    Container
    Democratic Republic of the Congo
    Mangbetu/Zande peoples
    Late 19th-early 20th century
    Wood, bark, plant fiber, string
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of the Wellcome Trust. X65.5471a,b

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  • Wood, leather, and brass Chokwe Chair

    X65.8514 Chair

    X65.8514 Chair

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    Object Name: Chair

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Chokwe peoples

    Place of Origin: Democratic Republic of the Congo

    Date/Era: 19th century

    Dimensions: H: 64.0 cm, W: 26.5 cm, D: 28.5 cm (H: 25.2 in, W: 10.4 in, D: 11.2 in)

    Medium/Materials: Wood, leather, brass

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of the Wellcome Trust.

    Accession Number: X65.8514

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  • X85.1076 Baby carrier (ba’)

    X85.1076 Baby carrier (ba’)

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    Object Name: Baby carrier (ba’)

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Bahau Dayak peoples

    Place of Origin: East Kalimantan [Borneo], Indonesia

    Date/Era: Mid-20th century

    Medium/Materials: Wood, shell, plant fiber

    Dimensions: H: 31.2 cm, W: 44.3 cm, D: 15.0 cm (H: 12.2 in, W: 17.4 in, D: 5.9 in)

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. The Jerome L. Joss Collection.

    Accession Number: X85.1076

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  • X87.375 Suspension hook

    X87.375 Suspension hook

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    Object Name: Suspension hook

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Iatmul peoples

    Place of Origin: East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea

    Date/Era: 19th century

    Medium/Materials: Wood, cowrie shell, plant fiber

    Dimensions: H: 41 cm

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA.

    Accession Number: X87.375

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  • X89.367 Chair of power (kiti cha enzi)

    X89.367 Chair of power (kiti cha enzi)

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    Object Name: Chair of power (kiti cha enzi)

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Swahili peoples

    Place of Origin: Zanzibar, Tanzania

    Date/Era: 1989

    Medium/Materials: Wood, ivory, string

    Dimensions: H: 123.0 cm (H: 48.4 in)

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Steve and Linda Nelson.

    Accession Number: X89.367

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Artistry in Clay

The potters of ancient Peru created works of extraordinary beauty and technical virtuosity. Little is known about how such elaborately formed ceramics functioned in ancient Peruvian life. Some may have been reserved for religious and ceremonial use associated with burials. In most instances, however, they probably served a variety of household functions. Their rich and varied iconography helps us understand something of their world and suggests the importance of the surrounding flora and fauna, as well as the secular and supernatural realms in which the vessels may have functioned.

North and south coast styles differ in form and surface qualities. In southern Peru the emphasis was on polychrome surface decoration, vessels with round bottoms, and the double spout and bridge shape. Mixtures of clay, mineral pigments, and water were used to produce the various slips that so masterfully colored the surfaces of south coast vessels. In northern Peru, the emphasis was on three-dimensional sculpture, ceramic vessels with flat bottoms, and the stirrup spout bottle form. Certain features typical of north coast ceramic traditions emerged as early as 1800 b.c.e. and continued for millennia.

  • X65.10968 Prisoner vessel

    X65.10968 Prisoner vessel

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    Vessel, prisoner
    Peru
    Moche
    Ceramic
    100 – 800 C.E.
    H: 25 cm, W: 12 cm, D: 12 cm (H: 9.84, W: 4.72 in, D: 4.72 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of the Wellcome Trust. X65.10968

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  • X72.52 Double spout and bridge bottle

    X72.52 Double spout and bridge bottle

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    Double spout and bridge bottle
    Nasca/Chimu style
    Peru
    900-1430 C.E.
    W: 16.0 cm, H: 17.5 cm, D: 16.0 cm (W: 6.3 in, H: 6.8 in, D: 6.3 in)
    Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Robert Kuhn. X72.52

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  • X86.2883 Effigy jar

    X86.2883 Effigy jar

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    Object Name: Effigy jar

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Early Nasca

    Place of Origin: Peru, south coast

    Date/Era: 100 B.C.E. – 600 C.E.

    Dimensions: DIAM: 33.0 cm, H: 51.5 cm (DIAM: 12.9 in, H: 20.3 in)

    Medium/Materials: Ceramic

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert L. Lucas, Jr.

    Accession Number: X86.2883

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  • Ceramic Moche vessel

    X86.3700 Stirrup spout bottle, portrait head

    X86.3700 Stirrup spout bottle, portrait head

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    Stirrup spout bottle, portrait head
    Peru
    Moche
    Ceramic
    100-800 C.E.
    H: 27.3 cm, W: 12.8 cm, D: 18.8 cm (H: 10.7 in, W: 5.0 in, D: 7.4 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert L. Lucas, Jr. X86.3700

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  • Ceramic Nasca vessel

    X86.3720 Double spout and bridge bottle

    X86.3720 Double spout and bridge bottle

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    Object Name: Double spout and bridge bottle

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Nasca

    Place of Origin: Peru, south coast

    Date/Era: 100 B.C.E. – 600 C.E.

    Medium/Materials: Ceramic

    Dimensions: W: 17.5 cm, H: 18.2 cm, D: 17.5 cm (W: 6.8 in, H: 7.1 in, D: 6.8 in)

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert L. Lucas, Jr.

    Accession Number: X86.3720

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  • Ceramic Tembladera vessel

    X88.812 Stirrup spout bottle

    X88.812 Stirrup spout bottle

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    Object Name: Stirrup spout bottle

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Tembladera

    Place of Origin: Peru

    Date/Era: 1800 – 100 B.C.E.

    Dimensions: H: 25.5 cm, W: 18.5 cm, D: 24.0 cm (H: 10.0 in, W: 7.3 in, D: 9.4 in)

    Medium/Materials: Ceramic

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert L. Lucas Jr.

    Accession Number: X88.812

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  • Ceramic Lambayeque vessel

    X88.822 Spout and bridge whistle bottle

    X88.822 Spout and bridge whistle bottle

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    Object Name: Spout and bridge whistle bottle

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Lambayeque

    Place of Origin: Peru, north coast

    Date/Era: 900 – 1430 C.E.

    Medium/Materials: Ceramic, organic black pigment

    Dimensions: H: 19.8 cm, W: 13.5 cm, D: 27.0 cm (H: 7.8 in, W: 5.3 in, D: 10.6 in)

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert L. Lucas, Jr.

    Accession Number: X88.822

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  • Ceramic Lambayeque vessel

    X88.823 Stirrup spout bottle

    X88.823 Stirrup spout bottle

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    Object Name: Stirrup spout bottle

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Lambayeque

    Place of Origin: Peru, north coast

    Date/Era: 900 – 1430 C.E.

    Medium/Materials: Ceramic

    Dimensions: H: 21.9 cm, W: 12.0 cm, D: 17.0 cm (H: 8.6 in, W: 4.7 in, D: 6.6 in)

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert L. Lucas, Jr.

    Accession Number: X88.823

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  • Ceramic Recuay vessel

    X88.843 Jar

    X88.843 Jar

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    Object Name: Jar

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Recuay

    Place of Origin: Peru

    Date/Era: 100 B.C.E. – 600 C.E.

    Medium/Materials: Ceramic, organic black pigment

    Dimensions: H: 19.8 cm, W: 11.0 cm, D: 15.0 cm (H: 7.7 in, W: 4.3 in, D: 5.9 in)

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert L. Lucas, Jr.

    Accession Number: X88.843

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  • X90.22 Jar

    X90.22 Jar

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    Jar
    Peru
    Huari Empire
    Ceramic
    600-900 C.E.
    H: 31.5 cm, DIAM: 64.5 cm (H: 12.4 in, DIAM: 25.3 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert L. Lucas, Jr. X90.22

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  • Ceramic Wari vessel

    X90.488 Jar

    X90.488 Jar

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    Object Name: Jar

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Wari

    Place of Origin: Peru

    Date/Era: 600 – 900 C.E.

    Medium/Materials: Ceramic

    Dimensions: H: 21.4 cm, W: 16.6 cm, D: 11.2 cm (H: 8.4 in, W: 6.5 in, D: 4.4 in)

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert L. Lucas, Jr.

    Accession Number: X90.488

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  • X91.146 Stirrup spout bottle

    X91.146 Stirrup spout bottle

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    Stirrup spout bottle
    Moche style
    Peru
    Ceramic
    100-800 C.E.
    H: 29.0 cm, W: 18.0 cm, D: 16.0 cm (H: 11.4 in, W: 7.1 in, D: 6.3 in)
    Gift of Helen and Dr. Robert Kuhn in honor of Dr. Christopher Donnan. X91.146

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  • Ceramic Moche vessel

    X96.8.62 Stirrup spout bottle

    X96.8.62 Stirrup spout bottle

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    Object Name: Stirrup spout bottle

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Moche

    Place of Origin: Peru, north coast

    Date/Era: 100 – 800 C.E.

    Medium/Materials: Ceramic

    Dimensions: H: 24.9 cm, W: 18.5 cm, D: 22.0 cm (H: 9.8 in, W: 7.2 in, D: 8.6 in)

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Franklin D. and Judith H. Murphy.

    Accession Number: X96.8.62

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Art and Knowledge

The compelling visual art forms presented in this section of the exhibition are bearers of knowledge, intended to encode, protect, or communicate particular types of information. Such objects have long been used to evoke proverbial wisdom, impart esoteric teachings, celebrate family genealogies, or express moral values. In contexts such as these, art functions like language, sending messages and safeguarding intellectual heritage.

The motifs found on archaeological objects, for example, can teach us about the practices and lives of peoples who left no written records. Memory devices are designed to assist their owners with the recollection of people, events, and sacred places. Styles of dress and adornment convey aspects of personal and cultural identity. Whether worn, carried, displayed, buried, or performed, these works of art play critical roles in the perpetuation of traditions and teachings from generation to generation, teacher to student, performer to audience.

 

The Moche: Painting History

The Moche peoples of ancient Peru (100–800 c.e.) portrayed complex scenes on fineline painted vessels, depicting everything from hunting and fishing to the ritual battles of supernaturals. These were rendered with such a high degree of realism that researchers have been able to establish correlations between the painted scenes and the actual environment in which Moche artists lived. Even when stylized, clothing, ornaments, and implements represented in the paintings are remarkably accurate depictions of equivalent objects that have been recovered from archaeological excavations. Since the Moche did not leave a writing system, these ceramic works are critical to reconstructing Moche civilization.

  • Ceramic Moche vessel

    X86.3807 Stirrup spout bottle

    X86.3807 Stirrup spout bottle

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    Stirrup spout bottle
    Moche style
    North coast, Peru
    100-800 C.E.
    Ceramic
    L: 14.0 cm, H: 23.0 cm, D: 13.5 cm (L: 5.5 in, H: 9.1 in, D: 5.3 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert L. Lucas, Jr. X86.3807

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  • Ceramic Stirrup spout bottle Moche vessel

    X86.3854 Stirrup spout bottle

    X86.3854 Stirrup spout bottle

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    Stirrup spout bottle
    Moche style
    North coast, Peru
    100-800 C.E.
    W: 14.5 cm, H: 20.2 cm, D: 14.0 cm (W: 5.7 in, H: 7.9 in, D: 5.5 in)
    Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert L. Lucas, Jr. X86.3854

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  • X86.3934 Stirrup spout bottle

    X86.3934 Stirrup spout bottle

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    Stirrup spout bottle
    Moche style
    North coast, Peru
    100-800 C.E.
    W: 16.0 cm, H: 30.2 cm, D: 16.0 cm (W: 6.3 in, H: 11.9 in, D: 6.3 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert L. Lucas Jr. X86.3934

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  • Ceramic Moche vessel

    X88.800 Stirrup spout bottle

    X88.800 Stirrup spout bottle

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    Object Name: Stirrup spout bottle

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Moche

    Place of Origin: Peru, north coast

    Date/Era: 100 – 800 C.E.

    Medium/Materials: Ceramic

    Dimensions: H: 26.6 cm, W: 15.0 cm, D: 14.6 cm (H: 10.5 in, W: 5.9 in, D: 5.7 in)

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert L. Lucas, Jr.

    Accession Number: X88.800

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Memory and Cosmology

Peoples throughout the world have devised complex and useful visual systems for recording and transmitting their traditions and beliefs. Each of the objects in this group played a part in activating memory or cosmology for critically important social situations and for ensuring cultural continuity. Among the Maya, for example, hieroglyphic writing was merged with visual imagery to communicate important dynastic information. In other cultures, systems of graphic inscription were developed for many purposes, including the transmission of calendrical and cosmological knowledge for divination or forecasting events. Additionally, motifs on many works of art serve to recall stories for retelling in the present through oral narratives and performances that keep traditions alive.

  • X63.671 Ceremonial house painting

    X63.671 Ceremonial house painting

    Ceremonial house painting
    Wom, Lower Sepik River, Papua New Guinea
    Circa 1963
    Sago palm spathe, pigment, plant fiber
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Dr. and Mrs. George Kennedy. X63.671

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  • X65.4375 Miniature mask

    X65.4375 Miniature mask

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    Miniature mask
    Sepik River, Papua New Guinea
    19th-early 20th century
    Wood, pigment, shell, plant fiber, seeds
    X65.4375, Gift of the Wellcome Trust

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  • X65.5296 Ceremonial house board

    X65.5296 Ceremonial house board

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    Ceremonial house board
    Papuan Gulf, Papua New Guinea
    19th-20th century
    Wood, pigment
    X65.5296; Gift of the Wellcome Trust

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  • X65.5664 Calendrical/divination devices

    X65.5664 Calendrical/divination devices

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    Calendrical/divination devices
    Batak peoples, Sumatra, Indonesia
    19th-early 20th century
    Bone, pigment
    X65.5664, Gift of the Wellcome Trust

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  • X65.7489 Bow stand

    X65.7489 Bow stand

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    Bow stand
    Luba peoples
    Katanga, Democratic Republic of the Congo
    Mid to late 19th century
    Wood
    H: 73.5 cm, W: 19.0 cm, D: 11.0 cm (H: 28.9 in, W: 7.4 in, D: 4.3 in)
    Gift of the Wellcome Trust. X65.7489

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  • X65.7779 Miniature mask

    X65.7779 Miniature mask

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    Object Name: Miniature mask

    Artist: Unknown

    Place of Origin: Sepik River, Papua New Guinea

    Date: 19th-early 20th century

    Dimensions: H: 13.50 cm, W: 5.50 cm, D: 4.00 cm

    Materials Used: Wood

    Credit Line and Accession Number: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of the Wellcome Trust. X65.7779

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  • X65.7781 Miniature mask

    X65.7781 Miniature mask

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    Object Name: Miniature mask

    Artist: Unknown

    Place of Origin: Sepik River, Papua New Guinea

    Date: 19th-early 20th century

    Dimensions: H: 13.50 cm, W: 6.50 cm, D: 4.00 cm

    Materials Used: Wood, seeds

    Credit Line and Accession Number: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of the Wellcome Trust. X65.7781

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  • X65.8018 Calendrical/divination device

    X65.8018 Calendrical/divination device

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    Calendrical/divination device
    Batak peoples
    Sumatra, Indonesia
    19th-early 20th century
    Bone and pigment
    L: 37.5 cm, W: 4.5 cm, H: 5.0 cm (L: 14.7 in, W: 1.7 in, H: 1.9 in)
    Gift of the Wellcome Trust. X65.8018

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  • X67.7 Bark painting

    X67.7 Bark painting

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    Bark painting
    Artist: Dawidi
    Arnhem Land, Northern Australia
    1960’s
    Bark and pigment
    H: 94.0 cm, W: 46.0 cm, D: 7.5 cm (H: 37.0 in, W: 18.1 in, D: 2.9 in)
    Museum purchase. X67.7

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  • X70.646 Divination Tray

    X70.646 Divination Tray

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    Divination Tray
    Nigeria
    Yoruba peoples
    Wood
    19th century
    D: 38 cm (D: 14.9 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of the Ralph B. Lloyd Foundation. X70.646

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  • Wood, pigment, and hide Asante Drum (ntan)

    X78.136 Drum (ntan)

    X78.136 Drum (ntan)

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    Object Name: Drum (ntan)

    Artist: Osei Bonsu (1900-1977)

    Culture: Asante peoples

    Place of Origin: Kumasi, Ghana

    Date/Era: Circa 1935

    Medium/Materials: Wood, pigment, hide

    Dimensions: H: 111.7 cm (H: 43.9 in)

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Dr. Donald Suggs.

    Accession Number: X78.136

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  • X81.24 Divination device

    X81.24 Divination device

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    Object Name: Divination device

    Artist: Unknown

    Place of Origin: Tibet

    Date: Late 19th century

    Dimensions: H: 30.50 cm, W: 27.50 cm, D: 2.00 cm

    Materials Used: Copper

    Credit Line and Accession Number: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Koshler. X81.24

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  • X91.616 Calendrical/divination device

    X91.616 Calendrical/divination device

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    Calendrical/divination device
    Batak peoples
    Sumatra, Indonesia
    19th-early 20th century
    Bone and pigment
    L: 37.0 cm, W: 4.5 cm, D: 5.0 cm (L: 14.6 in, W: 1.7 in, D: 1.9 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. The Jerome L. Joss Collection. X91.616

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  • X91.632 Ceramic vessel

    X91.632 Ceramic vessel

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    Ceramic vessel
    Maya
    Yucatan, Mexico
    Classic Period, 250-900 C.E.
    Ceramic
    H: 16.0 cm, Diam: 16.2 cm (H: 6.3 in, Diam: 6.4 in)
    Anonymous gift. X91.632

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  • X99.26.10 Pot lid

    X99.26.10 Pot lid

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    Object Name: Pot lid

    Artist: Unknown

    Cultural Group: Woyo peoples

    Place of Origin: Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola

    Date: Late 19th-early 20th century

    Dimensions: H: 5.60 cm, DIAM: 17.80 cm

    Materials Used: Wood

    Credit Line and Accession Number: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Museum Purchase with funds provided by Jay T. Last. X99.26.10

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  • X99.26.24 Pot lid

    X99.26.24 Pot lid

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    Object Name: Pot lid

    Artist: Unknown

    Cultural Group: Woyo peoples

    Place of Origin: Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola

    Date: Late 19th-early 20th century

    Dimensions: H: 5.00 cm, DIAM: 15.00 cm

    Materials Used: Wood

    Credit Line and Accession Number: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Museum Purchase with funds provided by Jay T. Last. X99.26.24

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  • X99.26.28 Pot lid

    X99.26.28 Pot lid

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    Object Name: Pot lid

    Artist: Unknown

    Cultural Group: Woyo peoples

    Place of Origin: Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola

    Date: Late 19th-early 20th century

    Dimensions: H: 5.70 cm, DIAM: 16.50 cm

    Materials Used: Wood

    Credit Line and Accession Number: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Museum Purchase with funds provided by Jay T. Last. X99.26.28

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Dress and Identity

Dress and adornment are social documents of time and place and at the same time convey aspects of individual and community identities. Details of dress—patterning, style, and color—may indicate age, marital status, geographic region, and social position. Dress can have a performative quality as well, echoing and amplifying the movements of the wearer.

The Fowler Museum maintains one of the world’s most encyclopedic collections of textiles and other items of dress. This section of Art and Knowledge features frequently changing displays of items selected from those collections, which reveal how people from various cultures around the globe communicate their identity and preserve and transmit cultural wisdom through textiles and related accoutrements.

  • X77.1428 Woman’s blouse

    X77.1428 Woman’s blouse

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    Not Currently On View in Intersections 

     

    Woman’s blouse
    Khanjuri
    Bansali peoples (a Hindu farming jati)
    Kutch, Gujarat, India
    Before 1977
    Silk, cotton, mirror
    L: 44.5 cm, H: 77.5 cm (L: 17.5 in, H: 30.5 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Mr. & Mrs. Richard B. Rogers. X77.1428

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  • X77.1444a-c Bride’s outfit

    X77.1444a-c Bride’s outfit

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    Not Currently On View in Intersections 

     

    Bride’s outfit
    Sonara peoples (Muslim goldsmiths)
    Mothara, Abrasar district, Kutch, Gujarat, India
    Circa 1920’s
    Silk, cotton, metallic threads, mirror, sequins
    L: 42.5 cm, H: 82.5 cm (L: 16.7 in, H: 32.5 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Mr. & Mrs. Richard B. Rogers. X77.1444a-c

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  • X77.1449a,b Woman’s tunic (aba) and pants (selwa)

    X77.1449a,b Woman’s tunic (aba) and pants (selwa)

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    Not Currently On View in Intersections 

     

    Womanäs tunic (aba) and pants (selwa)
    Khatrie peoples (Muslim textile dyers)
    Khavdah, Bhuj district, Gujarat, India
    Circa 1963
    Cotton, silk, mirror
    L: 94.0 cm, H: 102.8 cm (L: 37.0 in, H: 40.5 in)
    Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Richard B. Rogers. X77.1449a,b

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  • X78.1563 Woman’s blouse

    X78.1563 Woman’s blouse

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    Not Currently On View in Intersections 

     

    Woman’s blouse
    Ahir peoples (a Hindu farming jati)
    Kutch, Gujarat, India
    Before 1977
    Cotton, silk, mirror
    L: 90.0 cm, H: 52.6 cm (L: 35.4 in, H: 20.7 in)
    Museum purchase. X78.1563

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  • X81.1052 Woman’s blouse (Khanjuri)

    X81.1052 Woman’s blouse (Khanjuri)

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    Not Currently On View in Intersections 

     

    Woman’s blouse (Khanjuri)
    Rabari peoples (Hindu pastoralists)
    Bavarneepur, Kutch, Gujarat, India
    Before 1977
    Silk, cotton, mirror, plastic buttons, sequins
    W: 79.2 cm, L: 51.4 cm (W: 31.2 in, L: 20.2 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Mr. & Mrs. Richard B. Rogers and William Lloyd Davis. X81.1052

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  • X81.319a-c Bride’s outfit

    X81.319a-c Bride’s outfit

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    Not Currently On View in Intersections 

     

    Bride’s outfit
    Memmon or Kutri Muslims
    Kotara, western Kutch, Gujarat, India
    Circa 1910
    Silk, metallic thread, sequins
    H: 120.0 cm, W: 108.0 cm (H: 47.2 in, W: 42.5 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Jonathan E. Fielding. X81.319a-c

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  • X82.1164 Wedding veil (odhni)

    X82.1164 Wedding veil (odhni)

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    Not Currently On View in Intersections 

    Wedding veil (odhni)
    Khatrie peoples (Muslim textile dyers)
    Suthrie, Abrasar district, Kutch, Gujarat, India
    Circa 1925
    Silk, metal, metallic thread
    L: 170.2 cm, D: 144.8 cm (L: 67 in, D: 57 in)
    Gift of Mrs. W. Thomas Davis. X82.1164

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Performing Knowledge

Certain works of art are central to the education of children and adults. These objects communicate the values and beliefs of past generations through their forms and associated performances. Works in this section explore teaching through the arts in contexts of initiation, storytelling, and theater. Among the peoples of West and Central Africa, certain masks—when danced during periods of initiation—encode spiritual, moral, and practical knowledge. Dolls in many cultures are the playthings of young children, but among the Hopi of southwestern North America, they also represent supernatural intermediaries that can effect change in one’s life. And in theater contexts in Southeast Asia, puppets perform sacred stories, educating and entertaining youth and adults in the great epics of Asia.

  • X65.4779 Sande Association helmet mask (sowei)

    X65.4779 Sande Association helmet mask (sowei)

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    Object Name: Sande Association helmet mask (sowei)

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Mende peoples

    Place of Origin: Sierra Leone

    Date/Era: 19th century

    Medium/Materials: Wood, pigment, plant fiber

    Dimensions: H: 31.0 cm, W: 7.5 cm, D: 8.0 cm (H: 12.2 in, W: 2.9 in, D: 3.1 in)

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of the Wellcome Trust.

    Accession Number: X65.4779

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  • X67.242a Marionette

    X67.242a Marionette

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    Not Currently On View in Intersections 

     

    Marionette
    Artist: U Then Ye
    Rangoon, Burma
    Wood, silk, velvet, metal, glass beads, hair, lace, glass
    H: 62.0 cm, W: 30.0 cm, D: 10.0 cm (H: 24.4 in, W: 11.8 in, D: 3.9 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Museum Purchase. X67.242a

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  • Tihu of Kooyemsi Katsina (Choral singer and drummer)

    X68.158 Tihu

    X68.158 Tihu

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    Tihu of Kooyemsi Katsina (Choral singer and drummer)
    Artist: Grandfather of David Monongye
    Hotevilla, Arizona
    1900
    Wood, paint, bandana
    H: 23.5 cm, W: 7.6 cm, D: 6.0 cm (H: 9.2 in, W: 2.9 in, D: 2.3 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Museum purchase. X68.158

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  • Tihu of Hooli Katsina (Little Brother of the Eagle)

    X68.161 Tihu

    X68.161 Tihu

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    Tihu of Hooli Katsina (Little Brother of the Eagle)
    Artist: Grandfather of David Monongye
    Hopi peoples
    Hotevilla, Arizona
    Circa 1900
    Wood, feather, paint, string
    H: 22.8 cm, W: 8.6 cm, D: 6.7 cm (H: 8.9 in, W: 3.4 in, D: 2.6 in)
    Museum purchase. X68.161

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  • Tihu of Taatangaya Katsina (Hornet) Hopi peoples Arizona

    X82.932 Tihu

    X82.932 Tihu

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    Tihu of Taatangaya Katsina (Hornet)
    Hopi peoples
    Arizona
    Late 20th century
    Wood and paint
    L: 25.5 cm, D: 9.5 cm (L: 10.0 in, D: 3.7 in)
    Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Steve Nelson. X82.932

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  • X83.978 Mask (kholuka)

    X83.978 Mask (kholuka)

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    Object Name: Mask (kholuka)

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Yaka peoples

    Place of Origin: Democratic Republic of the Congo

    Date/Era: Early 20th century

    Dimensions: H: 75.0 cm, W: 45.0 cm, D: 50.0 cm (H: 29.5 in, W: 17.7 in, D: 19.7 in)

    Medium/Materials: Wood, polychrome pigment, fiber

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. The Jerome L. Joss Collection.

    Accession Number: X83.978

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  • Tihu of Qoia Katsina

    X84.1084 Tihu

    X84.1084 Tihu

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    Object Name: Tihu of Qoia Katsina

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Hopi

    Place of Origin: Arizona, United States

    Date/Era: Circa 1930

    Dimensions: H: 24.5 cm, W: 10.1 cm (H: 9.6 in, W: 4 in)

    Medium/Materials: Wood, feathers

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Mr. Richard M. Cohen.

    Accession Number: X84.1084

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  • Tihu of Hopi Peoples

    X84.1086 Tihu

    X84.1086 Tihu

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    Object Name: Tihu of

    Cultural Group: Hopi peoples

    Place of Origin: Arizona

    Date: Circa 1930

    Dimensions: H: 29.00 cm, W: 18.00 cm, D: 12.70 cm

    Materials Used: Wood, feathers, leather, yarn, fabric, silver, turquoise, string

    Credit Line and Accession Number: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Mr. Richard M. Cohen. X84.1086

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Proclaiming Heritage

Among the most important arts of the Austronesian peoples (who include today’s Indonesians, Filipinos, Polynesians, and others) are the carving of ancestor figures and the recitation of oral histories. The intersection of these arts preserves knowledge of the community’s heritage. The carved figures, often mounted in prominent locations in villages, serve as ever-present reminders of those who came before. By reciting genealogies and lists of place names, orators evoke the movements of ancestors and support the current leaders’ claims to authority. The ways of the ancestors are honored to secure their blessing, which promotes health, prosperity, and fertility in the community, fields, and fishing grounds.   Although the works displayed here were mostly made in the nineteenth or early twentieth century, this outlook remains influential to varying degrees today in communities ranging from remote atolls to great urban centers.

  • Wood Posts with ancestor figures

    X65.3102, X65.3103 Posts with ancestor figures

    X65.3102, X65.3103 Posts with ancestor figures

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    Object Name: Posts with ancestor figures

    Artist: Unknown

    Place of Origin: Leti Island, Southwest Moluccas, Indonesia

    Date/Era: Probably 19th century

    Dimensions: H: 175 cm

    Medium/Materials: Wood

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of the Wellcome Trust.

    Accession Number: X65.3102, X65.3103

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  • X65.4990 Male figure

    X65.4990 Male figure

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    Male figure
    Admiralty Islands, Papua New Guinea
    19th-early 20th century
    Wood, pigment
    X65.4990; Gift of the Wellcome Trust

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  • Wood and plant fiber Ancestor figures (adu zatua)

    X65.5679 Ancestor figures (adu zatua)

    X65.5679 Ancestor figures (adu zatua)

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    Object Name: Ancestor figures (adu zatua)

    Artist: Unknown

    Place of Origin: North Nias Island, Indonesia

    Date/Era: Collected before 1907

    Medium/Materials: Wood, plant fiber

    Dimensions: W: 69 cm

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of the Wellcome Trust.

    Accession Number: X65.5679

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  • X65.7433 Doorjamb (jovo)

    X65.7433 Doorjamb (jovo)

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    Doorjamb (jovo)
    New Caledonia
    19th century
    Wood
    X65.7433; Gift of the Wellcome Trust

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  • Wood and rattan Rukai Bin for storing millet

    X65.8157 Bin for storing millet

    X65.8157 Bin for storing millet

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    Object Name: Bin for storing millet

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Rukai peoples

    Place of Origin: Taiwan

    Date/Era: 19th to early 20th century

    Medium/Materials: Wood, rattan

    Dimensions: W: 106 cm

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Museum purchase.

    Accession Number: X65.8157

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  • X65.8158 Architectural panel

    X65.8158 Architectural panel

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    Architectural Panel
    Paiwan peoples
    Taiwan
    Early 20th century
    Wood
    H: 175.0 cm, W: 51.0 cm, D: 6.0 cm (H: 68.9 in, W: 20.1 in, D: 2.4 in)
    Museum purchase. X65.8158

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  • X85.1072 Ancestor figure for house altar

    X85.1072 Ancestor figure for house altar

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    Object Name: Ancestor figure for house altar

    Artist: Unknown

    Place of Origin: Bawömataluo, Nias, Indonesia

    Date/Era: Probably 1870s

    Medium/Materials: Wood, cloth

    Dimensions: H: 39.5 cm, W: 10.0 cm, D: 11.0 cm (H: 15.5 in, W: 3.9 in, D: 4.3 in)

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. The Jerome L. Joss Collection.

    Accession Number: X85.1072

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  • X85.1075 Ancestor figure

    X85.1075 Ancestor figure

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    Ancestor figure
    Korwar
    Cenderawasih Bay, West Papua (New Guinea), Indonesia
    19th-early 20th century
    Wood and glass beads
    H: 26.3 cm, W: 11.5 cm, D: 15.3 cm (H: 10.4 in, W: 4.5 in, D: 6.0 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. The Jerome L. Joss Collection. X85.1075

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  • X86.3137 Offering post

    X86.3137 Offering post

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    Object Name: Offering post

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Tetun peoples

    Place of Origin: Dafala, Belu, West Timor, Indonesia

    Date/Era: Probably 19th century or earlier

    Dimensions: H: 92.7 cm, W: 30.4 cm, D: 24.1 cm (H: 34.5 in, W: 11.9 in, D: 9.5 in)

    Medium/Materials: Stone

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. The Jerome L. Joss Collection.

    Accession Number: X86.3137

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  • X86.3280 Hearth post

    X86.3280 Hearth post

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    Hearth post
    Ifugao peoples
    Northern Luzon, Philippines
    19th-early 20th century
    Wood
    L: 90.2 cm, W: 18.4 cm (L: 35.5 in, W: 7.2 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of the Rogers Family Foundation. X86.3280

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  • X91.5703a-d Canoe (tatara)

    X91.5703a-d Canoe (tatara)

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    Object Name: Canoe (tatara)

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Yami peoples

    Place of Origin: Botel Tobago Island [Lan Yü], Taiwan

    Date/Era: Early 20th century

    Medium/Materials: Wood, paint, feathers, twine

    Dimensions: L: 460.0 cm, W: 95.3 cm, H: 137.0 cm (L: 181.1 in, W: 37.5 in, H: 53.9 in)

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Anonymous gift.

    Accession Number: X91.5703a-d

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  • X91.613a,b Ancestor figures

    X91.613a,b Ancestor figures

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    Object Name: Ancestor figures

    Artist: Unknown

    Cultural Group: Nage peoples

    Place of Origin: Central Flores, Indonesia

    Date: 19th-early 20th century

    Dimensions: H: 57.50 cm, W: 18.50 cm, D: 13.00 cm

    Materials Used: Wood

    Credit Line and Accession Number: Fowler Museum at UCLA. The Jerome L. Joss Collection. X91.613a,b

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Art and Power

In many world cultures, the arts play an integral role in defining and activating power. Although commonly associated with domination and military might, power and the concepts surrounding it are far more nuanced when explored in cross-cultural perspective. The works presented in this section, for example, have been used not only to augment political authority but also to ensure control over the environment, negotiate gender relationships, or express status and prestige.

Intended to balance power relationships or to harness spiritual forces, such objects visibly convey their authority and significance. Some are characterized by the use of precious materials, signaling rarity and wealth. Others incorporate symbolic motifs with meanings known only to particular individuals or groups. Still others represent animals possessing characteristics that are actually or metaphorically associated with power and leadership. The works featured here facilitate and represent hierarchical relationships through form, aesthetic conception, and attendant uses and meanings.

 

Empowering Leaders

Africa has been rich in arts supporting leadership and governance from precolonial times to the present. Whether in the context of military states, royal confederacies, sacred chieftaincies, or councils of elders, the arts have served to uphold and strengthen those in power and their domains. In turn, rulers have often been patrons of the arts with the volume of artistic production dependent on their ability to marshal ample resources.

This section explores particular examples of African leadership to demonstrate that political power can be defined only in specific cultural contexts. It may, for example, reside in a king’s quick wit and oratorical wisdom, or it may arise from a ruler’s link to the spirit world. Sometimes power results from a delicate balance between a ruler and other branches of government. In such a case the arts can serve to ensure social control and justice.

  • Wood, copper, alloy, and iron alloy Elephent head crest

    X2006.4.1 Elephant Head Crest

    X2006.4.1 Elephant Head Crest

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    Object Name: Elephant head crest

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Oku or Babanki peoples

    Place of Origin: Northwestern Grassfields, Cameroon

    Date/Era: 19th century

    Medium/Materials: Wood, copper, alloy, iron alloy

    Dimensions: L: 118.0 cm, W: 46.0 cm, H: 25.5 cm (L: 46.4 in, W: 18.1 in, H: 10.0 in)

    Credit Line and accession number: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Mary-Louise Fantel in memory of Ernest Fantel.

    Accession Number: X2006.4.1

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  • X63.405 Pipe Bowl

    X63.405 Pipe Bowl

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    Pipe bowl
    Bamum peoples, Cameroon
    19th-20th century
    Terra-cotta
    X63.405; Gift of Mary Hastings Bradley.

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  • X64.86 Beaded headdress for elephant mask

    X64.86 Beaded headdress for elephant mask

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    Beaded headdress for elephant mask
    Bamileke peoples, Cameroon
    Before 1880
    Fiber, textile, beads, wood
    H: 47.00 cm (18.5 in), W: 43.50 cm (17.1 in), D: 46.00 cm (18.1 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Mr. William Lloyd Davis. X64.86

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  • X65.1617 Chief’s stool

    X65.1617 Chief’s stool

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    Chiefäs stool
    Western Grassfields, Cameroon
    Late 19th-early 20th century
    Wood, plant fiber
    X65.1617; Gift of the Wellcome Trust.

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  • Wood Ceremonial chair

    X65.1621 Ceremonial chair

    X65.1621 Ceremonial chair

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    Object Name: Ceremonial chair

    Artist: Unknown

    Place of Origin: Central Western Grassfields, Cameroon

    Date/Era: Early 20th century

    Dimensions: H: 81.5 cm

    Medium/Materials: Wood

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of the Wellcome Trust.

    Accession Number: X65.1621

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  • X65.5813ab Bottle

    X65.5813ab Bottle

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    Object Name: Bottle

    Artist: Unknown

    Cultural Group: Bamileke peoples

    Place of Origin: Cameroon

    Date: 19th century

    Dimensions: Total Height: 62.50 cm, H: 53.50 cm, DIAM: 21.00 cm

    Materials Used: Gourd, glass beads, textile, felt, thread

    Credit Line and Accession Number: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of the Wellcome Trust. X65.5813ab

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  • Palm-wine container

    X65.5815A Palm-wine container

    X65.5815A Palm-wine container

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    Object Name: Palm-wine container

    Artist: Unknown

    Place of Origin: Grassfields, Cameroon

    Date/Era: 19th century

    Dimensions: H: 51 cm

    Medium/Materials: Gourd, glass beads, textile, felt, thread, wood, cowrie shells

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of the Wellcome Trust.

    Accession Number: X65.5815A

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  • X65.5820 Mask (tsesah)

    X65.5820 Mask (tsesah)

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    Object Name: Mask (tsesah)

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Bamileke peoples

    Place of Origin: Bamendjo, Cameroon

    Date/Era: Late 19th century

    Medium/Materials: Wood, paint, iron dowel, plant fiber, plant gum

    Dimensions: H: 53.34 cm, W: 47.00 cm, D: 30.50 cm (H: 21 in, W: 18.5 in, D: 12 in)

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of the Wellcome Trust.

    Accession Number: X65.5820

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  • X65.8228 Collar

    X65.8228 Collar

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    Collar
    Bamum peoples
    Cameroon
    Late 19th-early 20th century
    Brass and copper
    Diam: 26.0 cm, D: 1.8 cm (Diam: 10.2, D: .71 in)
    Gift of the Wellcome Trust. X65.8228

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  • X67.2052 Fly whisk

    X67.2052 Fly whisk

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    Fly whisk
    Bamum peoples
    Cameroon
    19th century
    Raffia cloth, glass beads, horsehair, iron, nails, raffia thread
    H: 121.0 cm, W: 10.0 cm, D: 12.0 cm (H: 47.6 in, W: 3.9 in, D: 4.7 in)
    Gift of George G. Frelinghuysen. X67.2052

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  • Bamileke Elephant mask and costume

    X73.529 Elephant mask

    X73.529 Elephant mask

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    Object Name: Elephant mask and costume

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture Group: Bamileke peoples

    Place of Origin: Cameroon

    Date: 19th century

    Materials: Burlap, fiber, fabric, seed beads, human hair

    Dimensions: H: 118.0 cm, W: 111.5 cm (H: 46.4 in, W: 43.8 in)

    Credit line and Accession Number: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Barry Kitnick. X73.529

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  • X73.603 Crest mask

    X73.603 Crest mask

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    Crest mask
    Oku peoples
    Western Grassfields, Cameroon
    19th-20th century
    Wood
    L: 44.5 cm, W: 27.9 cm (L: 17.5 in, W: 10.9 in)
    Gift of Mr. W. Thomas Davis. X73.603

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  • X77.935 Crest mask

    X77.935 Crest mask

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    Crest mask
    Buffalo
    Cameroon
    Oku peoples
    19th-20th century
    L: 31.70 cm, H: 27.00 cm (L: 12.4 in, H: 10.6 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Anonymous Gift. X77.935

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  • Wood Oku or Babanki Mask of a lineage group

    X78.126 Lineage group mask

    X78.126 Lineage group mask

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    Object Name: Mask of a lineage group

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Oku or Babanki peoples

    Place of Origin: Western Grassfields, Cameroon

    Date/Era: 19th-20th century

    Medium/Materials: Wood

    Dimensions: L: 27.5 cm, H: 43.5 cm (L: 10.8 in, H: 17.1 in)

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Anonymous Gift.

    Accession Number: X78.126

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  • X80.809 Crest mask

    X80.809 Crest mask

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    Crest mask, bird
    Kom or Oku peoples
    Western Grassfields, Cameroon
    19th-20th century
    Wood, kaolin, wire, vegetable fiber
    H: 19.3 cm, W: 23.0 cm, D: 56.0 cm (H: 7.6 in, W: 9.1 in, D: 22.0 in)
    Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Melvin Silverman. X80.809

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  • X82.569 Elephant mask

    X82.569 Elephant mask

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    Elephant mask
    Bamileke peoples
    Cameroon
    20th century
    Beads, cotton, wood
    H: 150.0 cm, W: 71.5 cm, D: 6.0 cm (H: 59.1 in, W: 28.1 in, D: 2.4 in)
    Anonymous gift. X82.569

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  • X83.968 Leader mask

    X83.968 Leader mask

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    Leader mask
    Cameroon
    Kom peoples (?)
    Wood, pigment, bast, cord, hair, encrustation
    19th century
    L: 22.3 cm, H: 37.5 cm, D: 16.5 cm (L: 8.7 in, H: 14.7 in, D: 6.4 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Anonymous Gift. X83.968

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  • X86.3696 Mask of a lineage group

    X86.3696 Mask of a lineage group

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    Mask of a lineage group
    Cameroon
    Wood and mixed media
    19th century
    L: 22.9 cm, H: 32.0 cm, D: 28.0 cm (L: 9.0 in, H: 12.5 in, D: 11.0 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Anonymous Gift. X86.3696

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  • X91.410 Drinking horn

    X91.410 Drinking horn

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    Drinking horn
    Bamum peoples
    Cameroon
    19th century
    Horn and pigment
    H: 29.5 cm, W: 13.5 cm, D: 9.5 cm (H: 11.6 in, W: 5.3 in, D: 3.7 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Peter J. Kuhn. X91.410

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  • X92.29AB Male and female figures

    X92.29AB Male and female figures

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    Object Name: Male and female figures

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Bamileke peoples

    Place of Origin: Bangwa, Cameroon

    Date/Era: Late 19th to early 20th century

    Dimensions: H (male): 97 cm; H (female): 87 cm

    Medium/Materials: Male: wood; female: wood, hair

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Helen and Dr. Robert Kuhn.

    Accession Number: X92.29ab

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Negotiating Gender

Innumerable objects across time and space articulate concepts of gender and assist men and women to negotiate their differences and their areas of interdependence. Certain works reinforce the power of one gender over the other, while others express the complementarity of female and male attributes. Works of art may also reflect gender roles as they are perceived in the spirit world. The objects shown here demonstrate how cultures devise their own ways of conceiving female and male categories and of translating those concepts into art forms that work to bridge and reconcile differences.

  • X2006.5.1 Gelede Mask

    X2006.5.1 Gelede Mask

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    Headdress with motorcycle and rider (ere gelede)
    Artist: Eloi Lokossou (Republic of Benin, artistäs dates unknown)
    Yoruba peoples
    Republic of Benin
    Early 1990’s
    Wood and paint
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Anonymous Gift. X2006.5.1

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  • Wood, paint, and laundry bluing Yoruba Headdress (ere gelede)

    X65.4742 Headdress (ere gelede)

    X65.4742 Headdress (ere gelede)

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    Object Name: Headdress (ere gelede)

    Artist: Attributed to Labintan (Otta, Nigeria, d. ca. 1930)

    Culture: Yoruba peoples

    Place of Origin: Otta, Nigeria

    Date/Era: Late 19th to 20th century

    Dimensions: L: 31 cm

    Medium/Materials: Wood, paint, laundry bluing

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of the Wellcome Trust.

    Accession Number: X65.4742

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  • X65.7486 Male figure

    X65.7486 Male figure

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    Object Name: Male figure

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Mbole peoples

    Place of Origin: Democratic Republic of the Congo

    Date/Era: 19th century

    Medium/Materials: Wood, paint

    Dimensions: H: 61.00 cm, W: 16.50 cm, D: 11.00 cm

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of the Wellcome Trust.

    Accession Number: X65.7486

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  • Luba Female figure

    X65.7488 Female figure

    X65.7488 Female figure

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    Object Name: Female figure

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Luba peoples

    Place of Origin: Democratic Republic of the Congo

    Date/Era: 18th – 19th century

    Dimensions: H: 31.00 cm, W: 11.00 cm, D: 12.00 cm

    Medium/Materials: Wood, textile, metal beads, fiber cord, pigment

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of the Wellcome Trust.

    Accession Number: X65.7488

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  • Wood and pigment Yoruba Headdress (ere egungun olode)

    X65.9051 Headdress (ere Egungun olode)

    X65.9051 Headdress (ere Egungun olode)

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    Object Name: Headdress (ere egungun olode)

    Artist: Attributed to Adugbologe (d. Circa. 1940)

    Culture: Yoruba peoples

    Place of Origin: Abeokuta, Nigeria

    Date/Era: Made prior to 1922

    Dimensions: H: 45.0 cm, W: 41.0 cm, D: 33.0 cm (H: 17.7 in, W: 16.1 in, D: 12.9 in)

    Medium/Materials: Wood and pigment

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of the Wellcome Trust.

    Accession Number: X65.9051

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  • X65.9148 Headdress (ere egungun olode)

    X65.9148 Headdress (ere egungun olode)

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    Headdress (ere egungun olode)
    Yoruba peoples
    Nigeria
    19th-early 20th century
    Wood, cotton, cloth, paint
    H: 31.0 cm, W: 47.0 cm, D: 37.0 cm (H: 12.2 in, W: 18.5 in, D: 14.5 in)
    Folwer Museum at UCLA. Gift of the Wellcome Trust. X65.9148

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  • Wood Baule Nature Spirits (asie usu)

    X67.2033ab Nature spirits (asie usu)

    X67.2033ab Nature spirits (asie usu)

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    Object Name: Nature spirits (asie usu)

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Baule peoples

    Place of Origin: Côte d’Ivoire

    Date/Era: 19th century

    Dimensions: H (female): 45.7 cm; H (male): 48.3 cm

    Medium/Materials: Wood

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of George G. Frelinghuysen.

    Accession Number: X67.2033ab

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  • X87.9a,b Knife (piso) and sheath

    X87.9a,b Knife (piso) and sheath

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    Knife (piso) and sheath
    Batak peoples
    Sumatra, Indonesia
    19th-early 20th century
    Wood, metal, seeds
    H: 26.7 cm, W: 3.0 cm, D: 3.3 cm (H: 10.5 in, W: 1.2 in, D: 1.3 in)
    The Jerome L. Joss Collection. X87.9a,b

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  • X92.2a,b Madebele divination couple

    X92.2a,b Madebele divination couple

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    Madebele divination couple
    Senufo peoples
    Céte däIvoire
    19th century
    Wood, palm oil, metal
    H: 23.0 cm, W: 7.5 cm, D: 7.0 cm (H: 9.1 in, W: 2.9 in, D: 2.8 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Harry Steinberg. X92.2a,b

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  • X94.18.2 Otherworld husband (blolo bian) & X94.17.2 Otherworld wife (blolo bla)

    X94.18.2 Otherworld husband (blolo bian) & X94.17.2 Otherworld wife (blolo bla)

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    Object Name: Otherworld wife (blolo bla)

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Baule peoples

    Place of Origin: Côte d’Ivoire

    Date/Era: 20th century

    Medium/Materials: Wood and paint

    Dimensions: H: 31.0 cm, W: 7.5 cm, D: 8.0 cm (H: 12.2 in, W: 2.9 in, D: 3.1 in)

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Anonymous gift.

    Accession Number: X94.17.2

     

    Object Name: Otherworld husband (blolo bian)

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Baule peoples

    Place of Origin: Côte d’Ivoire

    Date/Era: 20th century

    Medium/Materials: Wood and paint

    Dimensions: H: 33.6 cm

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Anonymous gift.

    Accession Number: X94.18.2