DINKA ART, SUDAN


 

DINKA
Headrests

 

DINKA
Headrests

  

DINKA
Helmets

 

DINKA
HandShields

Photographs © Tim Hamill

DINKA ART, Sudan

In many African cultures, carved wooden "pillows" are used to support the head during sleep and in some instances to preserve a hairstyle. The wonderful angular forms of the Dinka headrests sometimes incorporate a handle into the overall design to facilitate carrying.

Their astonishing helmets, clad with overlapping brass plates, were originally crowned with black ostrich feathers.

In traditional Africa, shields were used not only as defensive weapons, but also as decorative or ritual objects filled with symbolic meaning. They can be carved from wood, woven, made from a variety of hides and even metal. The Dinka shields are small, covering the hand while the rod is used for parrying objects or attacks.

 

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