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  • neil Lobo
    Hello, I was in Mali last month and purchased this wood sculpture from a village while on a research trip (malaria research and not). It is about 5 feet tall
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 3, 2008
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      Hello, I was in Mali last month and purchased this
      wood sculpture from a village while on a research trip
      (malaria research and not). It is about 5 feet tall
      and the left arm is broken (where you can see a piece
      of cloth tied). The man I got it from said that he got
      it from a village near Segou. I dont think it is old
      by any means. I saw a similar one at the Museum in
      Bamako and thought this might be a copy. can anyone
      tell me anything about it? or reference?
      Thank you
      Neil
    • Lee Rubinstein
      Neil: Although the scale is rather large for figures of this style, the facial features -- particularly the abbreviated, inverted semi- circular eyes are
      Message 2 of 3 , Jan 3, 2008
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        Neil:

        Although the scale is rather large for figures of this style, the facial features -- particularly the abbreviated, inverted semi-circular eyes are consistent with the eyes portrayed on some styles of Lobi bateba figures from the area around the border between Burkina Faso and northern Ghana and southwest into northeastern Cote d'Ivoire.  That particular element (the eyes) strikes me as the most salient sign of Lobi traditional influence and is also consistent with the type of light-colored wood in which your figure is carved.  In addition to numerous published works by Piet Meyer and Daniela Bagnolo, for instance,  some helpful on-line resources for exploring the art and culture of the Lobi are hosted on Julien Bosc's site (which contains a vast array of articles on a wide range of topics in the realm of African art and broader cultural studies):


        You will see among the illustrations -- many of which may also be found through an on-line image search -- numerous examples displaying notable features such as the eye shape and the crest atop the head -- although not necessarily contained within the same figure.  Additional crested examples can be viewed on the Galerie Flak site's introduction to the exhibition "Magie Lobi/Lobi Magic" at http://www.galerieflak.com/expo/lobi/index4.html.  The links thus far provided -- and other images and links which you may find productive -- can be found in earlier group postings (for example, see #1506) via a message search as well.

        Lee

        On Jan 3, 2008, at 10:28 AM, neil Lobo wrote:

        Hello, I was in Mali last month and purchased this
        wood sculpture from a village while on a research trip
        (malaria research and not). It is about 5 feet tall
        and the left arm is broken (where you can see a piece
        of cloth tied). The man I got it from said that he got
        it from a village near Segou. I dont think it is old
        by any means. I saw a similar one at the Museum in
        Bamako and thought this might be a copy. can anyone
        tell me anything about it? or reference?
        Thank you
        Neil

        <DSC03023.JPG>

      • P L
        Hi Neil, I know exactly which statue in the Musee National du Mali you re talking about because it s the one that knocked my socks off and got me crazy about
        Message 3 of 3 , Jan 3, 2008
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          Hi Neil,
           
          I know exactly which statue in the Musee National du Mali you're talking about because it's the one that knocked my socks off and got me crazy about African arts when I saw him in 2006. (For others who have yet to see this amazing sculpture, check him out at the bottom of this page http://maliba.8m.com/Musee/boo.htm)
           
          This 'Hanbe' statue, according to the museum's attribution, is made by the Bwa (or Boo) who spread across Mali and Burkina Faso. Now I don't know much about the sculptural traditions of the Bwa and the Bobo (who are often confused with the Bwa), but I guess it's fair to say that both groups are much better known for their masks than figures.
           
          Nevertheless, there are some beautiful examples in the Thomas Wheelock collection of Burkinabe art as shown in the book "Land of the Flying Masks" (which you can get from Amazon.com for a very reasonable price), but none approaches the impressive size or verticality of Hanbe. It would be interesting to know what the authoritative Christopher Roy would think of him.
           
          I would agree with your assumption that your figure is modeled after Hanbe. I also have a 3-feet version of him bought in the museum shop which now can be found in my bedroom. I know it's a copy, but still love to look and marvel at the genius of the people/culture that created this unique sculptural form. I hope yours gives you as much pleasure as I get from mine.
           
          Happy New Year to all AA members!
           
          Paisarn


          neil Lobo <neilflobo@...> wrote:
          Hello, I was in Mali last month and purchased this
          wood sculpture from a village while on a research trip
          (malaria research and not). It is about 5 feet tall
          and the left arm is broken (where you can see a piece
          of cloth tied). The man I got it from said that he got
          it from a village near Segou. I dont think it is old
          by any means. I saw a similar one at the Museum in
          Bamako and thought this might be a copy. can anyone
          tell me anything about it? or reference?
          Thank you
          Neil


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