Intersections

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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