On View In:

Artist:   Pokot  
Title:   Headrest  
Date:   20th century  
Medium:   Wood, cloth, metal  
Dimensions:   7 1/4 x 7 7/8 x 3 5/8 in. (18.4 x 20.0 x 9.2 cm)  
Credit Line:   The Christina N. and Swan J. Turnblad Memorial Fund  
Location:   Gallery Not on view  

When boys are initiated into the Pokot social hierarchy, their headrests are adorned with decorations to commemorate this rite of passage. Headrests in Pokot society, like in many other African cultures, denote one's place in a community by showing status and role. Since the Pokot are nomadic pastoralists who also value elaborate coiffures, they need small, portable headrests to protect their hair. This is one of the few regions where headrests are still used today.

Object Description  
Classification:   Woodwork  
Physical Description:   one piece of wood carved into T-shape; top of 'T' is carved into convex rectangle; an old zipper runs through a hole in the center pole  
Creation Place:   Africa, Kenya, East Africa region, ,  
Accession #:   95.49  
Owner:   The Minneapolis Institute of Arts