63 1/2 x 7 1/4 x 5 in.
Black wood staff topped with snail, turtle and gun on platform. Rather than directly addressing his people, a chief relies on the oratorical skills of the okyeame, or linguist, to convey his ideas and dictums. The linguist also serves as principal advisor to the chief and weighs in on political, military and judicial matters. The staff is symbolic of this important position and the carved finial represents a proverb referring to the chief and state. The proverb associated with this staff is one regarding pacifism: if it were only for the snail and the tortoises the gun would not fire in the forest.
Gift of John and Andrea Rich
Asante, Ghana, “Asante, Ghana,” UCSB ADA Museum Omeka, accessed October 7, 2022, http://art-collections.museum.ucsb.edu/items/show/14350.