Headrests are found in many cultures throughout the world and serve as a kind of "pillow" used by people to sleep. They are a longstanding and widespread form created by African sculptors and are typically made of wood. . The user could sleep either on his back with the headrest under the base of his neck, or on his side with the headrest under his chin and one ear.
They had shaped or concave upper pillow platforms and a base, showing uniformity in shape and decoration according to region or tribe. The function of a headrest was to elevate the neck, head or side of the face, so that elaborate or braided coiffures could be protected when sleeping and be free from soil or dust.