Title: Axe
Date: c.1850
Artist: Unidentified Songye artist
Medium: iron, copper, brass, and wood
overall height: 16 3/4 in. (42.5 cm)
blade: 10 1/2 x 7 in. (26.7 x 17.8 cm)
handle, height: 14 1/2 in. (36.8 cm)
handle, diameter at base: 2 1/2 in. (6.4 cm)
Credit Line: Gift of The May Department Stores Company
Object Number: 31:1966
Place associated: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Current Location: Not On View
This axe consists of a copper-covered wood handle and three iron struts attached to a blade. Three embossed heads appear on the viewer's side of the axe with two more on the opposite side. The heads may represent masks used in Songye festivals, or they may symbolize peoples who were conquered by the Songye. Ceremonial weapons such as this one symbolized high office and were solely the property of chiefs.
- 1966
The May Department Stores Company, St. Louis, MO, USA

1966 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, given by the May Department Stores Company [1]

[1] Minutes of the Administrative Board of Control and Associate Members of the Board of the City Art Museum, January 27, 1966.
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