PAUSE: Collection Highlight of the Week

These African staffs (located in the hall connecting the Commons to the rest of the museum) are only four of the sixteen displayed in this hall. Beyond just aiding the owner in his or her gait, these staffs communicate through their visual language the status and role of the owner in his or society. Whether a successful farmer (13), an orator (14), an elite in a colonial society (15), or a go-between for the community to communicate with the gods, these staffs stood for far more than to bear weight.

13. Staff, Senufo Peoples, Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire), Wood, 2001/2.25

14. Staff, Pende peoples, Democratic Republic of Congo, Wood, 2001/2.47

15. Staff, Kongo peoples, Democratic Republic of Congo, Wood, 2001/2.64

16. Staff, Yoruba peoples, Nigeria, Wood with beads, metal, cloth, 2001/2.45

Next time you pass through UMMA, try to focus in on how detailed and telling these staffs are!


I just want to take my last hour in hospital and tell you a bit about my stay here. A lot of people see going into a psychiatric hospital as being a really negative thing, but my stay this time has been incredibly positive.

Mainly because of the staff. They have treated me with dignity and respect, even in the times I was completely uncooperative. Everything they have done has been in my best interests, even if I didn’t see that at the time.

I’ve been treated like a human being, not just a patient or statistic.

And for that I am truly thankful. The staff here are amazing. Not just the nurses but everyone.