Pendant in the Shape of a Snake



Pendant in the Shape of a Snake


early-mid 20th Century


West Africa, Cote d'Ivoire | Cote d'Ivoire
Kyaman, Adiukru, Akye, and other Lagoons groups


Gold, silver
3 1/2 x 1 3/8 x 1/2 in. (8.9 x 3.5 x 1.3 cm)

Object Number



The big men, or "kings", of the various cultures of the Lagoons region of coastal Cote d'Ivoire have, since at the least the seventeenth century, displayed their wealth in the form of gold pendant ornaments and figurines made using the lost-wax casting method. Gold pieces are commissioned and accumulated by families, with additions made by aspiring social climbers who, as the Ebrie say, "add to the family chest". Recognition of wealth through annual public "exhibitions of gold" is required for those wishing to become an age-grade official or village head. The objects are either laid out on a table for inspection or strung together and worn around the neck or in the hair of men and their female family members. Animals, including the snake shown here, are particularly popular as symbols strength.

Credit Line

Museum purchase


MCCM Permanent Collection Reinstallation, 2008 - December 1, 2014


© Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University. Photo by Michael McKelvey.
This image is provided by the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University, who retains all rights in it. This image is made available for limited non-commercial, educational, and personal use only, or for fair use as defined by United States law. For all other uses, please contact the Michael C. Carlos Museum Office of Collections Services at +1(404) 727-4282 or Users must cite the author and source of the image as they would material from any printed work, but not in any way that implies endorsement of the user or the user's use of the image. Users may not remove any copyright, trademark, or other proprietary notices, including without limitation attribution information, credits, and copyright notices that have been placed on or near the image by the Museum. The Museum assumes no responsibility for royalties or fees claimed by the artist or third parties. The User agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Emory University, its Michael C. Carlos Museum, its agents, employees, faculty members, students and trustees from and against any and all claims, losses, actions, damages, expenses, and all other liabilities, including but not limited to attorney’s fees, directly or indirectly arising out of or resulting from its use of photographic images for which permission is granted hereunder.

On View



“Pendant in the Shape of a Snake,” Michael C. Carlos Museum Collections Online, accessed December 13, 2018,

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