Re: Malagasy Standing Couple (Hazomanga?)
- Thank you so much Lee for your extensive and informative reply. I learnt a lot more about Malagasy sculptures from your posted pictures from QB and the articles - I find the last artcile you posted particularly interesting. They are all excellent pictures to reference my piece.
I am hoping that I could get your personal opinion on my piece - I have also added more photos.
My statue is not as well preserved as the museum pieces. I personally do like the natural erosion and damage as it gives the sculpture a certain enigma.
I've tried to find Malagasy art from private collections through several african art auctions but they are hard to find or just very rare.
--- In African_Arts@yahoogroups.com, Lee Rubinstein <LeeRubinstein@...> wrote:
> Sifting through the artistic traditions of Madagascar is particularly
> interesting as it offers entrée into specific and complex historical,
> trans-cultural and trans-geographical influences in African art.
> Among the cultural and artistic traditions of Madagascar one finds
> those traditions -- including funerary sculptures -- variously
> attributed to a diversity of groups including Mahafaly, Sakalava,
> Vezo, Bara, Betsileo and Tsimihety. Among the historical and cultural
> aspects encountered through an exploration of the material culture of
> these groups one finds that the historical origins of Madagascar's
> peoples and languages is deeply influenced by Malayo-Polynesian (or
> Malayo-Indonesian) migrations. As previously discussed with more
> general reference to African continental traditions, historical
> migrations play an important role in considering the inter-connections
> among African peoples and their cultural traditions and material
> cultures. In Madagascar the consideration of migration and extra-
> African influences reflects unique and distinct geographical
> parameters and cultural landscapes as well as the prevalence of the
> Asian and Oceanic impacts upon Malagasy society, agricultural
> practices and cultural traditions and expressions.
> One informative introduction (written, please note, by group member
> Alex Bortolot) can be found on the Met site:
> "Kingdoms of Madagascar: Malagasy Funerary Arts."
> Although I am not certain that it is decidedly accurate to classify
> all seemingly analogous works as "funerary" sculptures, there are
> additional examples of sculptures from various cultures of Madagascar
> in the Quai Branly database which are interesting to explore --
> especially to contemplate the inclusion of portrayals not only of
> human figures, singly and in pairs (and one trio), but also inclusive
> of birds, zebus and more complex integrations of anthropomorphic and
> zoomorphic figures as well as geometric designs. For example:
> Nom vernaculaire : alualu
> N° inventaire : 71.1901.6.12
> Ethnonyme(s) : Sakalava
> Toponyme(s) : Madagascar / Afrique orientale / Afrique
> Personne(s) / Institution(s) :
> Mission : Guillaume Grandidier
> Donateur : Comité de Madagascar, Exposition universelle de 1900
> Ancienne collection : Muséum national d'histoire naturelle
> Précédente collection : Musée de l'Homme (Madagascar)
> Description : Sur le fût se trouve un crocodile (haut 94) montant vers
> un zébu (haut. 19). Le chapiteau est surmonté des statues d'un couple.
> La femme (haut. avec cruche 62) aux sexe et seins marqués, mains sur
> le ventre yeux creusés. D'après les photographies il y avait des
> perles incrustées. Sa coiffure en petites boules est figurée par des
> rectangles en relief, boule sur l'occiput. La femme porte une cruche à
> eau sur la tête. Homme (haut. 45) a une position et un type identique,
> le sexe marqué (testicules, penis avec gland)
> Usage : Dans le Sud de Madagascar, chez les Bara, Tanusi, Sakalava du
> sud, ces poteaux aloalo sont dressés pour les gens morts loin de chez
> eux et dont le cadavre n'a pu être ramené au tombeau de famille, et
> pour les gens morts sans enfants.
> Matériaux et Techniques : Bois sculpté. Monoxyle.
> Dimensions d'encombrement (Hauteur x Largeur x Profondeur, Poids) :
> 215 x 30 x 25 cm
> Always delighted by the unexpected, I wanted to include as well this
> additional example which is surmounted by figures in an automobile:
> Further, given the plethora of headrests, or appui-tetes -- among the
> images on the QB database, I think it is worthwhile to consider the
> appearance of related forms as elements of these particular personal
> Also worth noting is the appearance of a figure quite similar to the
> female which appears in your and comparative figures on this window
> shutter attributed to the Betsileo....
> N° inventaire : 71.1932.88.122
> Ethnonyme(s) : Betsileo du sud
> Toponyme(s) : Madagascar / Afrique orientale / Afrique
> Finally, in considering controversies which are current pertaining to
> the gathering of cultural objects from Madagascar (as from other
> locales), I am including an account by Hilary Bradt regarding the
> disappearance of elements of traditional sculpture from the southern
> village of Berenty. In addition to its poignancy, the description is
> illuminating also for its reference to the (previous or partial)
> existence of an exceptional (i.e., divergent from the regional and/or
> cultural norm as well as of remarkable quality) sculpture that serves
> to remind us -- as if we needed it! -- of the frequent difficulty in
> establishing firm cultural attributions based on what is seemingly or
> partially documented or hypothesized regarding the traditions of
> particular peoples.
> The Desecration
> On Mar 14, 2010, at 9:51 AM, afrikhantiques wrote:
> > Hello everyone,
> > So I've been reading a lot of past posts from this group over this
> > weekend and found a lot of useful and striking information on fake
> > Songyes and generally fake works from Congo or just the African arts
> > market in general. I guess there is always a spark of false hope
> > that your "beautiful" Congo piece could be real when bought in Africa.
> > I've also been doing a lot of research on Malagasy sculptures
> > because I own this Malagasy Standing couple. I've been looking for
> > references for comparisons and I've only found a similar pair in the
> > MET Museum. Tried looking at older posts and didn't find anything
> > from this group on Malagasy art either.
> > Would love to hear your authenticity/value opinions on this Malagasy
> > sculpture.
> > I also still have a spark of hope that one of my songye statues (the
> > light brown with terracotta dust patina) is real so would really
> > like to hear other opinions on that too please.
> > Thank you for your time always,
> > Khan
> > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/African_Arts/photos/album/343870675/pic/list