An elegant headrest with chain-link carrying strap from Uganda.
Headrests are used by the nomadic tribes in the Karamoja Savannah and come in various forms. They range from the simple to the elaborately carved artifact. Their styles are similar to these found among the other nomadic people of Uganda, Sudan and Kenya, particularly among the Pokot, the Dinka, the Maasai, the Rendille and Turkana. Among these people, headrests and stools play a vital role among men and are carefully carved and carried everywhere they go.
Headrests are used as a comfortable support to help protect ceremonial coiffures as well as to protect the user from insects and snakes. Headrests are also used as stools. As a personal object, the headrest has become a symbol of status and part of the individual's life. Usually, when a person died, they were buried with his headrest. Sometimes the headrest is passed on to his heir, who would treat it with respect because this wooden piece embodies the spirit of the deceased person. They are used by both men and women.
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