The two faces carved on the Bowl address the differences between male and female. Many Native American cultures recognize the complementary and yet different social roles of men and women in community life. This mutual dependency extends to religious ritual, acknowledged by the male and female heads that face one another across a feast bowl probably used to serve meals that are an important part of Native American religious practice.
Artist attributed to Delaware, Native American
  • Bowl
Date ca. 1800
Medium wood and brass repairs
Dimensions Overall: 6 × 13 9/16 × 9 1/2 inches (15.2 × 34.4 × 24.1 cm)
Credit Line Founders Society Purchase, with funds from Richard A. Manoogian, the New Endowment Fund, the Joseph H. Boyer Memorial Fund, and the Mr. and Mrs. Walter B. Ford II Fund
Accession Number 1991.205
Department Africa, Oceania & Indigenous Americas
On View Native American S130, Level 1 (see map)
private collection (Georgia, USA).
(Donald Moylan, Birmingham, Michigan, USA);
1991-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
Penney, David W. and George C. Longfish. Native American Art. Southport, CT, 1994, pp. 72-73.