Turkana headrest



Many groups in Africa make carved wooden headrests to enable people to sleep without interfering with their complicated coiffure.

Hairstyles frequently declare their owner’s age, gender and status, and are often embellished by accoutrements of a magic-religious nature. Hairstyles therefore need protecting. For people who follow the herds during the day & wish to rest in the heat of the afternoon, they are also useful to lift the head off the earth.

The Turkana are a nomadic cattle herding people. The men generally carry the headrests hanging from their belts so they may be used whenever required.


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