20th century, Omo-river/Turkana, Ethiopia, private collection from Finland.
This elegant headrest/seat are carved Dassanech-people (called also Daasanech, Dasenach, Geleb, Merile, Gabarich etc) from Ethiopia. The Dassanech tribe is divided into eight main clans, each has it’s own identity and customs. The Dassanech are a primarily agropastoral people, they grow sorghum, maize, pumpkins and beans when the Omo river floods. Otherwise they rely on their goats and cattle which give them milk, and are slaughtered in the dry season for meat, blood and hides.
When members of Dassanech tribe lose their cattle and goats, and with them their livelyhood, they turn to Lake Turkana, where they fish and hunt crocodile. The Dassanech without cattle are called ”Dies”.
This wooden headrest/seat with amulet are dyed with red pigment that has partially worn out. Age-related wear. Good condition. Size approx. 23cm x 18cm.