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Heddle pulley

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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.


About 1968, acquired in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (then Upper Volta), by Drs. Eli and Carolyn Newberger; 2009, gift of the Drs. Newberger to the MFA. (Accession date: January 20, 2010)

Credit Line

Gift of Eli and Carolyn Newberger

African, Senufo peoples, Burkina Faso, mid-20th century


Overall: 13.3 x 5.1 x 5.1 cm (5 1/4 x 2 x 2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique



Africa and Oceania


Decorative arts