Artifact of the Week: Zulu Headrest

What is this used for?

Where did it come from?



Answers:

What is this used for?

This is a wooden headrest, used while resting or sleeping. It may seem odd to us, as modern people used to pillows made of feathers or other soft material, but harder materials have been used by people from many cultures since ancient times, and possibly longer. In fact, feather pillows were not in widespread use till after the Industrial Revolution.

Where did it come from?

This headrest was made in South Africa by people of Zulu ethnicity. It is one of several headrests in the Karshner collections, and was donated in 1930.



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