Traditional African headrests were carried as symbols of affluence.
The geometric patterns and reliefs were unique to individual artists and varied from region to region.
Intended to cradle the neck and support the head, headrests were used by herders to recline and rest, while still watching their herd at night. During the day, they often served as stools. Beyond their utilitarian function, headrests were important metaphysical objects which provided a spiritual conduit to one’s ancestors.