This finely carved short staff has an elongated male face, subtly protruding ears, tiny bead eyes, a straight gash for a mouth and incised eyebrows. His black hair is created by pokerwork. In a delightfully surreal touch, a snake serves as his right arm and then winds round his cone shaped ‘body’ to its base. The refined adze-work carving is crisp and precise and although it is quite light in colour, it has a patina indicating a good vintage.
Staffs and scepters can denote rank and position and figural staffs can represent ancestors or be used in divination rituals.