|By Eric Lafforgue|
Here are two African head rests, maybe Ehtiopian? Each is similar in shape and has leather strap but have different crossed mark carvings. Beautiful patina to the wood. I'm not sure if these are truly old or not as I'm no expert.
(I found the last photo after doing a google search and looking at images of Africans using their headrests. Check out the photographer's whole series - absolutely amazing!)
Here is some info on headrests that I found after a little research:
The vital role of headrests or stools is obvious among African tribes. That’s why these objects are carefully carved and carried everywhere individuals go. The leather cord attached to the headrest helps to carry it easily. Headrests are used as a pillow. They also help to protect sophisticated coiffure. As a personal object, the headrests have become part of the individual. Usually, when the person died, he is buried with his headrest. Sometimes the headrest is passed on to his heir, who would treat it with respect because this wooden piece embodies the spirit of the deceased person.
And here is a link to a Metropolitan Museum of Art site with info explaining how headrests may relate to dreams and the living communicating with their departed ancestors - interesting! African Art and Rituals of Divination