This is a rattle staff that is characteristic of Benin ancestral altars and ceremonial dances honoring ancestors, whether for kings, chiefs, or commoners, who are represented through relief carvings on the column of the staff. This example is made of carved wood, and has the typical narrow slits and hollow chamber enclosing a small wooden cylinder that rattles when the staff is shaken or struck. The top of the staff is carved with a stylized head with eyes, mouth and coif.
- Specific materials/techniques:
- Decorative elements:
- Hornbostel-Sachs category:112.13 Vessel rattles
- Repository:Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum
- Measurements:Height: 340mm; Diameter: 40mm