10.5 - 65" high
Photographs © Hamill Gallery
This very large flywhisk is nicely embellished with beadwork. The first measurement is the height of the handle, the second is the height including the whisk hair.
Flywhisks in Africa served two functions, the first being used to prevent insects from alighting on people or food. They were also part of a leader or chief's regalia, a symbol of power and authority that would accompany the chief during most of his official duties. Heads, figures, beadwork or other decoration on the handle would enhance the prestige of the object which served as a mark of social status. The hair would come from different animals depending on the region and tribal customs.
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