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.


Depicts a woman carrying firewood.

Cultural context

craft; tourist art

Physical description

Figure representing a bent, bare headed woman with a baby tied to her waist, and she is holding a cone-shaped container filled with firewood. Her dress and baby sling are light yellow-brown. Firewood, heads, and limbs are dark brown. Base is light brown wood.