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unknown Bassa

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Image of Janus-faced Staff

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unknown Bassa

Janus-faced Staff

19th century - 20th century
Carved wood

56 5/16 in. x 4 3/4 in. (143 cm x 12 cm)

Bryn Mawr College
Accession Number: 99.5.74
Other Number(s): 84-16 (Neufeld Collection Number)
Geography: Africa, Liberia
Classification: Ceremonial and Performance Artifacts; Ritual Objects
Culture/Nationality: Bassa, Liberian West African, African
Collection: Neufeld Collection

Keywords Click a term to view the records with the same keyword
This object has the following keywords:
  • African - Refers to the cultures of the continent of Africa, which is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Bassa - Style and culture of the African ethnic group of the same name currently inhabiting the coastal regions and part of the inland forest of Liberia.
  • carvings - Refers to works executed by cutting a figure or design out of a solid material such as stone or wood. It typically refers to works that are relatively small in size, are part of a larger work, or are not considered art. For large and medium-sized three-dimensional works of art, use the broader term "sculpture" or another appropriate term.
  • Janus-faced - Used for objects, typically masks or figures, with two faces positioned front-to-back or side-to-side.
  • Liberian - Style and culture of the nation of Liberia, a West African state founded in 1822.
  • staffs - Long sticks carried in the hand for support in walking.
  • West African - Styles and cultures from the region comprising the westernmost area of the African continent, defined by the United Nations as including the modern nations of Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.
  • wood - The principal tissue of trees and other plants that provides both strength and a means of conducting nutrients. Wood is one of the most versatile materials known.

Additional Images Click an image to view a larger version

  • Owner Name: Mace Neufeld and Helen Katz Neufeld, Class of 1953
    Role: Donor
    Place: Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, US
    Ownership End Date: 7/18/1991

Bibliography List
The following Bibliography exist for this object:
  • "African Heritage Document and Research Center." (Accessed June 11, 2020): Record No.: 0181809.

Comparanda List
The following Comparanda exist for this object:
  • "African Heritage Document and Research Center." (Accessed June 11, 2020): Record No.: 0068409.

Related Bibliography List
The following Related Bibliography exist for this object:
  • Eckart Von Sydow, "The Image of Janus in African Sculpture." African Arts 5, no. 1 (January 1932): 14-27.

Portfolio List Click a portfolio name to view all the objects in that portfolio
This object is a member of the following portfolios:

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=BMC>cite web |url= |title=Janus-faced Staff |author=Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections |accessdate=6/10/2023 |publisher=Bryn Mawr College</ref>

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