Headrest (Dinka People, South Sudan)

Headrest (Dinka People, South Sudan)

5.5 x 11 x 3.5 ″Hand carved from a single, hardwood block.This headrest was constructed by the Dinka People of the Republic of South Sudan.Typically, these headrests feature two, three or four (as in this object) legs or “links.” By cultural tradition, the headrest is also conceptualized as a vehicle for communication with Dinka ancestors: “…dreams are considered to be sent by ancestors, and because dreams are dreamt on headrests, the headrest is a kind of antenna, and the strength of the signal is increased if the headrest is inherited from a senior relative” (Nettleton 2007).

REFERENCES: Nettleton, Anitra. 2007. African Dream Machines: Style, Identity and Meaning of African Headrests. Johannesburg: Wits University Press.


Additional information

Weight 7.0 lbs
Dimensions 3.5 × 11.0 × 5.5 in

Early to mid 20th century


Hand carved from a single, hardwood block.