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Triumph, protection and dreams: The East African headrest in context

Exhibition now extended to Sunday, 25 March

Explore the history, function and significance of the headrest from ancient Egypt to west and central Africa through this special exhibition.

African headrests are used as pillows, hair protectors and status symbols. As objects they have become synonymous with West and Central African cultural traditions, and are nearly always featured in ethnographic displays relating to Africa. In the ancient Egyptian context, as well as household items, they are associated with Osiris’ triumph over death and protection of the mummified body. The exhibition aims to look at the function, design and development of headrests across cultural and chronological boundaries.

An exhibition to mark Black History Month

Tue 20 September 2011 to Sun 25 March 2012
Octagon Gallery (10)