Thorn Carving

About this object

History of use

Thorn carvings are miniatures depicting scenes from Nigerian life. This type of carving began circa 1930. Thorns vary in size, they can be as large as 12.7 cm. long and 9.6 cm. wide. They are comparatively soft and easily carved. The light yellow-brown thorn and the dark brown thorn come from the Ata tree; the light red-brown thorn comes from Egun trees. The parts are glued together with viscous paste made from rice cooked with water. They are carved by men.

Cultural context

craft; tourist art

Physical description

Figure representing a barefoot male figure sitting on a cylindrical stool set on a wooden base, stained brown on bottom. Figure is wearing a conical hat, a sleeveless tunic, and pants. Playing a stringed instrument. Pants and tunic are light yellow-brown. Neck of the instrument and hat are light red brown. Legs, head, arms, and body of instrument are dark brown.