User Menu

MFA for Educators

Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.

Heddle pulley

Start collecting

Heddle pulleys, found across a wide area of West Africa, hold the double heddles of the horizontal looms. They consist of two pieces: the spool (often lost), and the u-shaped part that supports it, which the carver embellishes with elegant heads, masks, animal forms, and abstract motifs.


1982, acquired in Paris by Geneviève McMillan (b. 1922 - d. 2008), Cambridge, MA; 2008, to the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation, Cambridge; 2009, gift of the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 17, 2009)

Credit Line

Gift of Geneviève McMillan in memory of Reba Stewart

African, Guro peoples, Cote d'Ivoire, 20th century, 1950–2000

Object Place

Cote d'Ivoire


Overall: 15 x 6 x 5.5 cm (5 7/8 x 2 3/8 x 2 3/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique



Africa and Oceania


Tools & equipment, Textile & Costume-making