Ceremonial Staff

A work made of wood, glass beads, and thread.

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  • A work made of wood, glass beads, and thread.

Date:

Mid–20th century (before 1962)

Artist:

Tutsi
Rwanda
Eastern and Southern Africa

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

Artist

Tutsi

Title

Ceremonial Staff

Origin

Rwanda

Date

1925–1961

Medium

Wood, glass beads, and thread

Dimensions

103.5 x 10.2 x 6.4 cm (40 3/4 x 4 x 2 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Shifferaw Zelleke

Reference Number

2000.499

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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