This group of 23 ethnographical pieces was donated by the widow of Captain A.

W.F. Fuller, collector of ethnographic art and honorary curator at the British Museum since 1918. It includes fine specimens of the tribal arts from the western Eskimo area as well as specimens and pieces of jewellery from Tibet, Zaire, Ghana, Sudan and Zanzibar. This 19th century Chief's Raven Rattle (main illustration) from the Northern Northwest Coast is among the countless examples of this type to survive. The raven enjoys mythical status in this part of the world as a trickster and glutton, and is used by chiefs on ceremonial occasions. Their presence always implies contact with the supernatural and the ancestral forces. The raven's belly is decorated with the carving of a hawk. The meaning of the figure of a reclining man resting his head on the raven's ears still remains mysterious.

Provenance

Capt A.W.F.Fuller


British Museum

Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG
020 7323 8181
Website

Opening times

Daily, 10am – 5.30pm (Fri until 8.30pm)

Closed 24 – 26 Dec and 1 Jan