Re: [African_Arts] African Sculpture and Sports Trivia? [2 Attachments]
In the Treichville, as well as plateau markets, objects depicting Europeans
are known as the style "colon." (colonial). If you do not find similar
African team colors I would look to European team colors in order to
identify who is depicted on this walking cane.
Some of the early colonial figures were fantastic.
----- Original Message -----
From: "John Monroe" <jmonroe@...>
Sent: Monday, October 12, 2009 2:27 PM
Subject: [African_Arts] African Sculpture and Sports Trivia? [2 Attachments]
Our current discussion of authenticity has reminded me that there's a piece
been meaning to share with the group in hopes of finding out a bit more
it. It's a figural swagger-stick, painted in enamel and sculpted in a style
that to me looks pretty clearly Akan. As you can see in the pictures, it
two soccer players, a drum, and an elephant holding a soccer ball. Through
internet research, I've learned that the Ivoirian national soccer team is
Elephants, which given the Akan style of the carving makes sense. The
Elephants' team colors, however, are very different from the colors on the
jerseys of the two players depicted on the stick.
Does anyone in the group know enough about African football to identify
uniforms? Are they just fantasies? Or are they meant to represent specific
local or regional teams in Cote d'Ivoire? I know that the bottom player is
goalie, but that's about the extent of my knowledge.
Also, from an authenticity perspective, I think this object is an
"borderline" case. Formally, its handle is totally non-traditional, and in
directly borrows from the sculpted "Afro-kitsch" walking sticks that are so
common in the tourist market; iconographically, though, this is quite
from the usual "souvenir cane." The piece also has some clear signs of use,
including a lot of telephone patina on the handle and rubbing wear on its
presumably from having actually been used. Does that use, coupled with its
identifiably "Akan" style, make it a candidate for authenticity? If we
this question by calling the piece "folk art," as I suspect many dealers
do, what do we mean by this new term?
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