Ceremonial fan

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Ceremonial fan, early 20th century
African, Nigeria, Calabar, Efik people

Donated by Mrs Groves, 1953
Museum number 1983-172

This fan is decorated on both sides with nsibidi secret writing motifs, which have been burned into the wood. Nsibidi script is used by the initiated members of the Ekpe society for recording short stories, proverbs, court cases and the records of the society. We don't know the subject of this fan but its motifs include peacock feathers, which symbolise female membership of Ekpe.

Ceremonial fan
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