Utilitarian Artifacts | Headrests

The headrests were designed to preserve elaborate hairstyles, which often signified an individual's identity. They maintained a person's head parallel to their shoulders while sleeping or resting. Yet a headrest functioned went beyond utility.  Associated with sleep and dreams, the headrest was believed by many Africans to be a recipient for occult forces. It was a highly prized personal object and for this reason, was never lent to another person.


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