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6434RE: [African_Arts] RE: Help ID more statues

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  • Monroe, John W [HIST]
    Sep 28, 2013
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      Hi Kristina --

      These pieces all look to me to be pretty recent.  Their large size is unusual, and in this case indicates that they were all made for the export market, rather than for any kind of traditional use.  Their value, then, is primarily as decorative objects.

      The one you call "Belly" is reminiscent of Cameroonian sculpture.  The hand-to-chin gesture is particularly common in figures from the Cameroon Grasslands; it's a sign of respect made by courtiers when speaking to a king.

      "Chop" is stylistically unusual.  The rendering of the face looks to me more influenced by Western sculpture than by any African tradition, though the square shape of the head reminds me of some Lobi figures I've seen.  The raised arm is also reminiscent of the Lobi figure form called "Bateba Ti Puo".  If you're interested in some illustrations, you can check out Rand Smith's useful Lobi page: http://www.randafricanart.com/Lobi_Bateba_figure11.html

      "Pregnant" is more or less in classic Bamana style from Mali, and is probably based on a figure type the Bamana call "Gwandusu." 

      "Small" is an odd one.  My guess would be Ghana?  He looks to me to be an Asante warrior, judging by the tunic covered with amulets, the shape of those amulets, and the overall sculptural style, which strikes me as having elements typical of the Akan peoples (the Asante are Akan).  Here's a picture of an Asante warrior wearing a tunic for comparison: http://www.theakan.com/Akan_wars_Sirian_warrior_model.html

      "Tall hunter" is Bamana-style as well, though it doesn't really correspond to any traditional form, the way "Pregnant" does to some degree.  Also, the naturalism of the facial features is atypical in a Bamana piece, though the dry surface and overall form are pretty much in line with what you often see on pieces in that style.

      best,

      John Monroe






      From: African_Arts@yahoogroups.com [African_Arts@yahoogroups.com] on behalf of kristinaniu@... [kristinaniu@...]
      Sent: Saturday, September 28, 2013 2:50 PM
      To: African_Arts@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [African_Arts] RE: Help ID more statues

       

       Maybe pictures are easier viewed in this album:

      https://plus.google.com/photos/102501884272974746137/albums/5928750482155151729?authkey=CKnn99PIjcKgew

      I am especially interested if anyone can tell what the symbols are on the hats/heads/coat of the carvings and what age they may be. Who is the little guy with the coat: hunter, shaman? What tribes are these from?

      Thank you so much!

       

      Kristina



      ---In African_Arts@yahoogroups.com, <african_arts@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

      I have these 5 statues and would greatly appreciate any help with identifying their origin, tribe, age, value, etc. :

      http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/African_Arts/photos/albums/1404372625

      Sizes are as follows:

      Tall 96 1/2 inches (the guy with musket and antilope)

      Small 30 inches

      Pregnant 43 inches

      Chop 58 inches

      Belly 63 inches

       

      Thank you very much!

      Kristina

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