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Staff With Woman and Child

– May 31, 2004

African Art Museum
950 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC

Location: Permanent Collection exhibition, Sublevel 1

On view is a 61-inch staff--made of wood, metal, and pigment--of a woman with a child on her back. The origin of the staff has not been conclusively determined but has been tentatively attributed to the Mbundu (Ovimbundu) people of Angola. Details of hairstyle, body scarification, body type, proportions, and pose are characteristic of Mbundu art. The staff arrived in Europe in 1890 and was originally believed to be from the Bissagos Islands near Guinea-Bissau.