Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    HAUSA, Northern Nigeria
    Bird Head Decoy Headdress

    Hornbill head, leather, fiber

    The Hausa, along with several neighboring peoples, use hunting decoys in the form of a large bird head and curving neck, which broadens at the base into a cap-like form that can be fitted to the hunter's forehead and held in place with straps of leather or fabric. The decoy, "burtu," projects above the hunter's body as he bends over, stalking prey in the tall grass or scrub of the Savannah areas in which these peoples live. The bird of choice for such a decoy is a large hornbill that is essentially a ground-dweller. If the hunter makes any noise, prey animals, seeing the head and neck of the hornbill, credit it to the harmless hornbill, thus allowing the hunter to get close to his prey for a good bow shot.

    Some decoys are realistic wood carvings of hornbill heads and necks; others, such as the present example, use real hornbill heads and necks covered with tightly-stretched, sewn-on leather for added realism.

    The decoy is a practical hunting aid; however, before major ceremonial hunts, "bago," hunters gather with their decoys and the village priest conducts ceremonies designed to increase the hunters' abilities to identify with prey animals, thus adding an element of supernatural control to an essentially pragmatic object.

    Provenance:
    From the Estate of Liz Claiborne and Arthur Ortenberg

    Read more about the Liz Claiborne and Arthur Ortenberg Collection here.



    Height: 14 inches


    Estimate: $700 - $900.

    Condition Report*: Condition report available upon request.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    This item cannot be shipped using standard methods. Please contact us for more information.

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    July, 2016
    8th Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 585

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $200,000 (minimum $19), plus 20% of any amount between $200,000 and $2,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $2,000,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2019 June 25 Ethnographic Art : American Indian, Pre-Columbian and Tribal Art Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    I am not only a happy first-time consignor, I will be returning! Thank you for the wonderful experience.
    John Paul R.,
    Chicago, IL
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2014 November 21 Tiffany, Lalique & Art Glass Signature Auction
    2014 November 21 Tiffany, Lalique & Art Glass Signature Auction
    REALIZED $1,441,296
    2014 November 17 American Art Signature Auction
    2014 November 17 American Art Signature Auction
    REALIZED $6,712,638
    2014 November 14 American Indian Art , Pre-Columbian, & Tribal Art Signature Auction
    2014 Nov 14 American Indian Art, Pre-Columbian & Tribal Art Auction
    REALIZED $441,524
    2014 November 8 Modern & Contemporary Art Signature Auction
    2014 November 8 Modern & Contemporary Art Signature Auction
    REALIZED $5,683,719
    2014 November 6 Silver & Vertu Signature Auction
    2014 November 6 Silver & Vertu Signature Auction
    REALIZED $439,980
    2014 October 18 The Belo Collection of Texas Art Signature Auction
    2014 October 18 The Belo Collection of Texas Art Signature Auction
    REALIZED $624,835
    2014 October 16 Photographs Signature Auction
    2014 October 16 Photographs Signature Auction
    REALIZED $824,108
    2014 September 28 Nature & Science Signature Auction
    2014 September 28 Nature & Science Signature Auction
    REALIZED $1,089,341
    2014 Sept 13-14 Gentleman Collector Signature Estate Auction
    2014 Sept 13-14 Gentleman Collector Signature Estate Auction
    REALIZED $1,725,292
    2018 October 12 Illustration Art - Dallas
    2018 October 12 Illustration Art - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $1,749,643