Ghana Wooden Comb
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This narrow comb with nine round, tapered tines is carved in one piece from light-colored wood. The large, decorative carved handle is flat on the back but the front is carved in the form of a female figure. The oval face has round eyes and a triangular nose. The elongated neck is carved with concentric rings. Shoulders are indicated but there are no arms. The breasts are large and full. The rectangular section from which the tines extend is decorated with shallow, incised lines in a simple geometric design. Husbands and suitors presented large, fancy combs as gifts to their wives and girlfriends. The combs were decorated with carved human heads or torsos. The concentric rings on the neck suggest the wide metal neck rings many African women wear, or the rolls of fat that are considered the symbol of a wealthy woman. It is reported that a woman removed and replaced her comb as a form of greeting much as a Western man would lift his hat in public when greeting a woman. This type of comb is the prototype for the modern pick used to maintain an "Afro" hairstyle. African Folk Tales; African Novel Study; Ghana Artifacts 16 History; 18 Social Systems; 25-27 Fine Arts
|Ashanti (African people) Social life and customs|
|University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign|
|University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University Library|
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