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

Standing figure representing a man leaning forward over with a two headed barrel drum. Drum is being held on his left hip supported by a shoulder strap. Right hand is holding a bent drumstick. Figure is wearing knee-length trousers, and he is standing on a square base. Man's body, drumstick, and body of the drum are dark brown. Trousers are light yellow-brown. The base is light brown wood with brown stain on the edges. The leather strap is painted blue on the inner surface.