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Traditions & Encounters: Art of Africa, Oceania & Native North America

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Heddle Pulley

6 1/4 in. (15.9 cm)

Unknown, Guro
Ivoirian

Object Type: Woodwork
Medium and Support: Wood, horn, twisted cord
Credit Line: R. T. Miller Fund
Accession Number: 1953.75.1
Location: Currently on view
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Hand looms are traditionally used by West African men in weaving narrow-strips of cloth. While the heddle pulley is a crucial functional element of the loom, the elaborately carved figure is not. These decorative figures, which fell out of fashion at the end of the last century, were made beautiful simply for the delight and pleasure of the weaver. The human compulsion to beautify functional objects is explained simply by a Guro artist who said, “We cannot live without such beautiful things.”
[Gallery label text, 2009]

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