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Re: Please help identify Tanzanian statues

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  • afrikhantiques
    That is extremely interesting Vero... I see the different ethnic groups, etc on the website link but exactly how did you deduce that the Bungu of Tanzania and
    Message 1 of 15 , Jun 30, 2010
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      That is extremely interesting Vero... I see the different ethnic groups, etc on the website link but exactly how did you deduce that the Bungu of Tanzania and the Bongo of Sudan are the same people? Didn't you also say you thought that my piece came from the sukuma tribe earlier?


      --- In African_Arts@yahoogroups.com, Veronique Martelliere <proximatribal@...> wrote:
      >
      > It is true that the wooden posts found in South Sudan and said to be "Bongo" do
      > not have much in common with these stone statues...
      > except that they are all obviously funerary figures.  
      > I've been looking for Bongo people in the Tanzanian listing of Joshua
      > Project and found a group called Bungu (or Wungu) - see :
      > http://www.joshuaproject.net/countries.php?rog3=TZ
      > The question is now if these stone statues come from the Sudanese Bongo area or
      > from the Tanzanian Bungu area.
      >
      > (we've already seen such confusions, even in serious illustrated literature -
      > for example with the Chamba of Nigeria and Tchamba of Togo)
      > I'll keep on looking and will let you know if i find something out ! 
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > ________________________________
      > From: afrikhantiques <khankey@...>
      > To: African_Arts@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Tue, June 29, 2010 9:26:23 AM
      > Subject: [African_Arts] Re: Please help identify Tanzanian statues
      >
      >  
      > Hey Lucas,
      > I've been having trouble finding references for this particular Tanzanian piece
      > as there doesn't seem to be much information on the arts of East Africa. Your
      > piece is strikingly similar to mine (closest piece I've seen in resemblance) but
      > I think yours still might be Bongo as Veronique also suggested. The use of these
      > two statues is different as my piece is heavily encrusted while yours isn't.
      > Also my piece is made from terra-cotta as yours is stone. Other details of my
      > piece is that it has cavities on top of the head ears and eyes and it is also
      > hollow. Your piece seems to be completely solid from the pictures. If they are
      > from the same country I doubt they are from the same tribe as the use is
      > different. The general style of our two pieces is quite similar as the ears,
      > body and face is carved similar. It also quite baffles me as Tanzania and Sudan
      > are quite far from each other yet stylistically similar carvings are produced? I
      > wonder...
      > Do you happen to know any references for pieces similar to ours?
      > Regards,
      > Khan
      >
      > --- In African_Arts@yahoogroups.com, Veronique Martelliere <proximatribal@>
      > wrote:
      > >
      > > hello - yes, i believe it is Bongo - from Sudan !
      > > vero
      > >
      > > --- On Mon, 6/28/10, Lucas San <lucasanart@> wrote:
      > >
      > >
      > > From: Lucas San <lucasanart@>
      > > Subject: Re: [African_Arts] Please help identify Tanzanian statues
      > > To: African_Arts@yahoogroups.com
      > > Date: Monday, June 28, 2010, 3:40 PM
      > >
      > >
      > >  
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > Hello,
      > > In my collection I have a sculpture in stone very similar.
      > > The person who sold it to me, I said it was a sculpture Bongo of Sudan, but
      > >seeing your sculpture of Tanzania, makes me wonder.
      > >
      > >
      > >  
      > > http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/African_ Arts/photos/ album/1573170967
      > >/pic/list
      > >
      > > What do you think this sculpture of stone?
      > > Is Bongo?, Sudan Is it?, Is it in Tanzania?
      > >
      > > I would like to give me your opinion on this sculpture.
      > >
      > > Thank you very much.
      > > Best regards
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > From: afrikhantiques <khankey@ymail. com>
      > > To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
      > > Sent: Wed, June 16, 2010 3:17:37 PM
      > > Subject: [African_Arts] Please help identify Tanzanian statues
      > >
      > >  
      > >
      > > Hello group,
      > > Would anyone know where these two statues are from? I know that they are
      > >Tanzanian but I can't figure out from which tribes. The stout female statue with
      > >animal horns attached to its body is made from terra-cotta and it seems to
      > >covered in libations of blood and other liquids. The second statue is made from
      > >wood.
      > > http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/African_ Arts/photos/ album/133905179/
      > pic/list
      > > Thanks,
      > > Khan
      > >
      >
    • Veronique Martelliere
      Hello, Sorry for not having been clear ! i did not mean that Tanzanian Bungu people and Sudanese Bongo people are the same people - but meant that a confusion
      Message 2 of 15 , Jul 1, 2010
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        Hello,
        Sorry for not having been clear !
        i did not mean that Tanzanian Bungu people and Sudanese Bongo people are the same people - but meant that a confusion can be made, given the similarity of the names,
        and i gave an example : if you buy an African figure in Paris and the sellers tells you that it is "Chamba / Tchamba" (both pronounced in the same way) - it is advisable to ask if he/she means the Chamba of Nigeria or the Tchamba of Togo. I gave this specific example because, interestingly, there can be common features between the two styles of these groups, though the Chamba and the Tchamba are not the same people at all.
        Same with the Cameroonian Bali and the Bali from DRC - Bassa from Liberia, Cameroon & Nigeria - Bembe from Kongo, and Eastern DRC (+ Bemba from Zambia & SE DRC !) etc etc : not the same people but same names.
        Also, I was referring to the stone BONGO (or Bungu !) figures... and not to your terracotta (did i misunderstood ?) figure which i believe might be Sukuma !
        Cheers,
        Vero
         

         


        From: afrikhantiques <khankey@...>
        To: African_Arts@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Thu, July 1, 2010 7:52:22 AM
        Subject: [African_Arts] Re: Please help identify Tanzanian statues

         

        That is extremely interesting Vero... I see the different ethnic groups, etc on the website link but exactly how did you deduce that the Bungu of Tanzania and the Bongo of Sudan are the same people? Didn't you also say you thought that my piece came from the sukuma tribe earlier?

        --- In African_Arts@yahoogroups.com, Veronique Martelliere <proximatribal@...> wrote:
        >
        > It is true that the wooden posts found in South Sudan and said to be "Bongo" do
        > not have much in common with these stone statues...
        > except that they are all obviously funerary figures.  
        > I've been looking for Bongo people in the Tanzanian listing of Joshua
        > Project and found a group called Bungu (or Wungu) - see :
        > http://www.joshuaproject.net/countries.php?rog3=TZ
        > The question is now if these stone statues come from the Sudanese Bongo area or
        > from the Tanzanian Bungu area.
        >
        > (we've already seen such confusions, even in serious illustrated literature -
        > for example with the Chamba of Nigeria and Tchamba of Togo)
        > I'll keep on looking and will let you know if i find something out ! 
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > ________________________________
        > From: afrikhantiques <khankey@...>
        > To: African_Arts@yahoogroups.com
        > Sent: Tue, June 29, 2010 9:26:23 AM
        > Subject: [African_Arts] Re: Please help identify Tanzanian statues
        >
        >  
        > Hey Lucas,
        > I've been having trouble finding references for this particular Tanzanian piece
        > as there doesn't seem to be much information on the arts of East Africa. Your
        > piece is strikingly similar to mine (closest piece I've seen in resemblance) but
        > I think yours still might be Bongo as Veronique also suggested. The use of these
        > two statues is different as my piece is heavily encrusted while yours isn't.
        > Also my piece is made from terra-cotta as yours is stone. Other details of my
        > piece is that it has cavities on top of the head ears and eyes and it is also
        > hollow. Your piece seems to be completely solid from the pictures. If they are
        > from the same country I doubt they are from the same tribe as the use is
        > different. The general style of our two pieces is quite similar as the ears,
        > body and face is carved similar. It also quite baffles me as Tanzania and Sudan
        > are quite far from each other yet stylistically similar carvings are produced? I
        > wonder...
        > Do you happen to know any references for pieces similar to ours?
        > Regards,
        > Khan
        >
        > --- In African_Arts@yahoogroups.com, Veronique Martelliere <proximatribal@>
        > wrote:
        > >
        > > hello - yes, i believe it is Bongo - from Sudan !
        > > vero
        > >
        > > --- On Mon, 6/28/10, Lucas San <lucasanart@> wrote:
        > >
        > >
        > > From: Lucas San <lucasanart@>
        > > Subject: Re: [African_Arts] Please help identify Tanzanian statues
        > > To: African_Arts@yahoogroups.com
        > > Date: Monday, June 28, 2010, 3:40 PM
        > >
        > >
        > >  
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Hello,
        > > In my collection I have a sculpture in stone very similar.
        > > The person who sold it to me, I said it was a sculpture Bongo of Sudan, but
        > >seeing your sculpture of Tanzania, makes me wonder.
        > >
        > >
        > >  
        > > http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/African_ Arts/photos/ album/1573170967
        > >/pic/list
        > >
        > > What do you think this sculpture of stone?
        > > Is Bongo?, Sudan Is it?, Is it in Tanzania?
        > >
        > > I would like to give me your opinion on this sculpture.
        > >
        > > Thank you very much.
        > > Best regards
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > From: afrikhantiques <khankey@ymail. com>
        > > To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
        > > Sent: Wed, June 16, 2010 3:17:37 PM
        > > Subject: [African_Arts] Please help identify Tanzanian statues
        > >
        > >  
        > >
        > > Hello group,
        > > Would anyone know where these two statues are from? I know that they are
        > >Tanzanian but I can't figure out from which tribes. The stout female statue with
        > >animal horns attached to its body is made from terra-cotta and it seems to
        > >covered in libations of blood and other liquids. The second statue is made from
        > >wood.
        > > http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/African_ Arts/photos/ album/133905179/
        > pic/list
        > > Thanks,
        > > Khan
        > >
        >


      • Lee Rubinstein
        Catching up... As previously discussed, the information regarding and documentation of works from Tanzanian peoples remain fragmentary and not wholly
        Message 3 of 15 , Jul 13, 2010
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          Catching up...

          As previously discussed, the information regarding and documentation of works from Tanzanian peoples remain fragmentary and not wholly accessible.  In instances where quite specific attributions are suggested (or ostensibly stated), it is often difficult to determine -- even  suspect -- how specific cultural attributions have been assigned.  In the absence of field observation of and/or collection record for referenced or queried works, one is thrust into the ambiguous challenge of seeking to hypothesize the likelihood of one cultural origin or another for a figure -- a task which is perhaps more fruitfully and realistically approached by aiming to identify the possible influences that might be inferred from the presence of certain characteristics -- hair styles, arm positions, accumulated materials, etc., rather than a movement toward definitive attribution and identification.

          Marc-Leo Felix's MWANA HITI: Life and Art of the Matrilineal Bantu of Tanzania (Munchen:  Fred Jahn, 1990) provides perhaps the most comprehensive inventory of a delimited -- yet still comparatively wide -- range of Tanzanian objects.  Unfortunately, the volume is prohibitively scarce -- as is unfortunately true of many detailed studies which would provide beneficial access to a range of comparative examples and background information pertaining to regional and specifically cultural material traditions.  

          Christopher Roy's KILENGI:  African Art from the Bareiss Family Collection (Kestner Gesellschaft, Hannover and Seattle:  University of Washington Press, 2000) is one annotated collection publication notable for its inclusion of a considerable range of Tanzanian works and works from the broader eastern African region;  There are a number of East African objects illustrated in AFRICA Art and Culture:  Masterpieces of African Art Ethnological Museum, Berlin (Munich, Berlin, London, New York:  Prestel) on pages 181-197 with detailed descriptions on pages 231-235.    Among the works included in this survey catalogue are pieces attributed to the Bari, Kerebe, Sukuma , Zaramo, Kwere, Doe, Nyamwezi, Zigua, Ngindo, Mwera, Mavia, Makonde, and Lomwe/Nyassa.  Additionally, see Charles Bordogna's A Tanzanian Tradition:  Doei, Iraku, Kerewe, Makonde, Nyamwezi, Pare, Zaramo, Zigua and other groups (Tenafly, NJ and New York:  African Art Museum of the SMA Fathers and Leonard Kahan Gallery, 1989) and The Discerning Eye:  African Art from the Collection of Carl and Wilma Zabel (Tenafly, NJ:  African Art Museum of the SMA Fathers, 2004?) for further comparative examples.

          A broader listing of resources on East African traditions is included here as well although many are general.  There is still much room (an understatement) for expanded knowledge and a need for restraint in targeting too narrowly the presumed cultural origin of particular East African -- especially many Tanzanian -- figures and objects when comparative examples located -- particularly from internet sources -- are relatively occasional and frequently presented without documentation or analysis.

          Lee


          On Jun 29, 2010, at 12:14 PM, Veronique Martelliere wrote:

          [Attachment(s) from Veronique Martelliere included below]

          Picture of two Bongo figures (stone) !


          From: afrikhantiques <khankey@ymail. com>
          To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
          Sent: Tue, June 29, 2010 9:26:23 AM
          Subject: [African_Arts] Re: Please help identify Tanzanian statues

           

          Hey Lucas,
          I've been having trouble finding references for this particular Tanzanian piece as there doesn't seem to be much information on the arts of East Africa. Your piece is strikingly similar to mine (closest piece I've seen in resemblance) but I think yours still might be Bongo as Veronique also suggested. The use of these two statues is different as my piece is heavily encrusted while yours isn't. Also my piece is made from terra-cotta as yours is stone. Other details of my piece is that it has cavities on top of the head ears and eyes and it is also hollow. Your piece seems to be completely solid from the pictures. If they are from the same country I doubt they are from the same tribe as the use is different. The general style of our two pieces is quite similar as the ears, body and face is carved similar. It also quite baffles me as Tanzania and Sudan are quite far from each other yet stylistically similar carvings are produced? I wonder...
          Do you happen to know any references for pieces similar to ours?
          Regards,
          Khan

          --- In African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com, Veronique Martelliere <proximatribal@ ...> wrote:
          >
          > hello - yes, i believe it is Bongo - from Sudan !
          > vero
          > 
          > --- On Mon, 6/28/10, Lucas San <lucasanart@. ..> wrote:
          > 
          > 
          > From: Lucas San <lucasanart@. ..>
          > Subject: Re: [African_Arts] Please help identify Tanzanian statues
          > To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
          > Date: Monday, June 28, 2010, 3:40 PM
          > 
          > 
          >   
          > 
          > 
          > 
          > 
          > 
          > Hello, 
          > In my collection I have a sculpture in stone very similar. 
          > The person who sold it to me, I said it was a sculpture Bongo of Sudan, but seeing your sculpture of Tanzania, makes me wonder. 
          > 
          >  
          > http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/African_ Arts/photos/ album/1573170967 /pic/list
          > 
          > What do you think this sculpture of stone? 
          > Is Bongo?, Sudan Is it?, Is it in Tanzania? 
          > 
          > I would like to give me your opinion on this sculpture. 
          > 
          > Thank you very much. 
          > Best regards
          > 
          > 
          > 
          > 
          > 
          > From: afrikhantiques <khankey@ymail. com>
          > To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
          > Sent: Wed, June 16, 2010 3:17:37 PM
          > Subject: [African_Arts] Please help identify Tanzanian statues
          > 
          >   
          > 
          > Hello group,
          > Would anyone know where these two statues are from? I know that they are Tanzanian but I can't figure out from which tribes. The stout female statue with animal horns attached to its body is made from terra-cotta and it seems to covered in libations of blood and other liquids. The second statue is made from wood.
          > http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/African_ Arts/photos/ album/133905179/ pic/list
          > Thanks,
          > Khan
          >




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