About this artwork
Glass beads were first imported to eastern Central Africa in the 19th century, and Tutsi artisans quickly developed expertise in making decorative beaded objects, including jewelry and regalia. This staff features spiraling lines, zigzags, and triangles; the netted beadwork tightly binds together the wooden pieces that make up each staff’s inner core. Such luxury items were popular among the Tutsi elite in the early to mid-20th century. Members of the Tutsi royal family presented these staffs to a United Nations official who supervised the 1962 referendum for independence during which Ruanda-Urundi became the separate nations of Rwanda and Burundi. [See also 2000.498].
Currently Off View
- Arts of Africa
- Ceremonial Staff
- Wood, glass beads, and thread
- 103.5 x 10.2 x 6.4 cm (40 3/4 x 4 x 2 1/2 in.)
- Gift of Shifferaw Zelleke