Ivory, Shoo Fly Swisher Bone Ivory Folk Art Primitive Tribal
Interesting vintage tribal fly swisher (not swatter) is made of hand carved bone ivory and probably horse or other animal hair... it's very coarse. Primitive people saw the animals successfully shooing flys with their tails and borrowed some of their tools to help rid themselves of the annoying pests. My first sight of one of these unusual tools was in college when a creative writing teacher brought one in for us to write about. He had acquired it when visiting Africa... I don't remember what area it came from. I purchased this one years later at an estate auction. Unfortunately, the hair is coming out of the weaving that holds it in place and it had already lost a bit when I acquired it. The hair is curved in the position you see in the photos. I've never tried to straighten it. Possibly it could be dampened with water and placed bewtween paper with weights to "set it" straight again. The carved handle is quite nice... 7" long x about an inch at the widest point. This would be a great piece to display with other primitive and folk art treasures.
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