Senufo Heddle Pulley - Côte d'Ivoire

This deeply patinated Senufo heddle pulley seems to depict a human/avian hybrid being with an elongated, overhanging head. The weight of solemnity and monumentality transmitted through this piece far transcends its modest physical size.

Heddle pulleys are used in strip-weaving, a process that uses very small looms to produce long, narrow strips of cloth which are later sewn together to create a larger textile, such as a blanket. The pulley is located at the very top of the loom and guides the weaver’s thread.

Early 20th century
H: 6 1/4"
Ex private US collection
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