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 women's activity.

Cultural context

craft; tourist art

Physical description

Figure representing a woman bending over a well drawing water with a pail on a rope. She is wearing a sleeved dress, and she is carrying a child in a sling tied to her back. Well, limbs, and heads are dark brown. Dress and sling are light red-brown. Carving on pail is light yellow-brown. The base is light brown wood.