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HOME : African & Tribal Art : African Weapons : Tiv Brass Ceremonial Adze
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Tiv Brass Ceremonial Adze - PF.4259
Origin: Eastern Nigeria
Circa: 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 18.5" (47.0cm) high x 12" (30.5cm) wide
Collection: African
Medium: Brass

Location: United States
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The Tiv inhabit both sides of the Benue river near the Cameroon mountains. There sculptures are relatively rare, but those that do exist reveal an economy of form and line that approaches abstraction. The Tiv blacksmiths produce excellent works, including axes such as this handsome example. It is composed of a blade extending from the “mouth” of the head ornament, and gently curves downwards. The shaft has an upper and lower textured area done in a delicate leaf pattern. The head is highly abstract, but bears certain resemblances to an owl, which is associated by the Tiv with occult powers. Ceremonial axes should be considered as sculptures not so much as actual weapons; and are regarded as symbols of rank and dignity. - (PF.4259)


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