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Help with ID

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  • lauri62fl
    Hi everyone! I found three large African (?) statues in a storage cleanout. The large one is about 5 feet tall, and quite heavy with moveable arms and legs.
    Message 1 of 5 , Feb 1, 2011
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      Hi everyone! I found three large African (?) statues in a storage cleanout. The large one is about 5 feet tall, and quite heavy with moveable arms and legs. They are hand carved. It looks as if the teeth may be real... maybe pigs teeth? And the hair is haylike but courser, I'm thinking buffalo. The medium size one is built much like the larger one. Height is about 3 1/2 - 4 ft. He has male anatomy. The small one is very unique. It's materials are different. There is a wood base, but alot of bone and or horns are used, as well as shells and who know's what else. The head looks like it is covered in burlap? See photo of back of head, and almost looks like the shape of a coconut. The small one is about 3 feet tall. I have found similar style to the smaller one. But nothing like the 2 larger ones. If anyone can offer any kind of information I would be very thankful. I will list photos in a file lauri62fl. Thanks!

      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/African_Arts/photos/album/648253175/pic/list
    • DC NYC
      Hi Lauri, The smaller of the two figures is carved in the very distinct style of the Songye people from the Democratic Republic of Congo. My guess is that this
      Message 2 of 5 , Feb 1, 2011
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        Hi Lauri,

        The smaller of the two figures is carved in the very distinct style of the Songye people from the Democratic Republic of Congo. My guess is that this one was made in the late 20th Century. Traditional examples of Songye statues or "power figures" are called Nkishi and often contain horns, shells, leather, and other fetish material which are added along with a magic substance or charge that activates the power figure to protect and bring good fortune to the community or individuals. See Rand's site for more details http://www.randafricanart.com/you_be_the_judge.html

        The taller one is certainly not African and most likely originates from an Oceanic region such as Indonesia or Papua New Guinea. This piece also seems fairly contemporary based on the style. I have no idea what it represents as I have never seen anything quite like it.

        I must ask, was it frightening running into this fellow in the storage unit?

        Regards

        Dave Cassera


        --- In African_Arts@yahoogroups.com, "lauri62fl" <lauri62fl@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hi everyone! I found three large African (?) statues in a storage cleanout. The large one is about 5 feet tall, and quite heavy with moveable arms and legs. They are hand carved. It looks as if the teeth may be real... maybe pigs teeth? And the hair is haylike but courser, I'm thinking buffalo. The medium size one is built much like the larger one. Height is about 3 1/2 - 4 ft. He has male anatomy. The small one is very unique. It's materials are different. There is a wood base, but alot of bone and or horns are used, as well as shells and who know's what else. The head looks like it is covered in burlap? See photo of back of head, and almost looks like the shape of a coconut. The small one is about 3 feet tall. I have found similar style to the smaller one. But nothing like the 2 larger ones. If anyone can offer any kind of information I would be very thankful. I will list photos in a file lauri62fl. Thanks!
        >
        > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/African_Arts/photos/album/648253175/pic/list
        >
      • turley19at
        Hi Lauri, Dave is correct about the 2 larger pieces - unfortunately they very closely reflect modern pieces coming out of Indonesia that I have often seen in
        Message 3 of 5 , Feb 1, 2011
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          Hi Lauri,

          Dave is correct about the 2 larger pieces - unfortunately they very closely reflect modern pieces coming out of Indonesia that I have often seen in markets in South East Asia or here in Australia for the tourist or decorator trade. The lizards are fairly common iconography....but I must say that I haven't seen such ornate variants before.

          Regards
          Andrew

          --- In African_Arts@yahoogroups.com, "DC NYC" <davidcassera@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi Lauri,
          >
          > The smaller of the two figures is carved in the very distinct style of the Songye people from the Democratic Republic of Congo. My guess is that this one was made in the late 20th Century. Traditional examples of Songye statues or "power figures" are called Nkishi and often contain horns, shells, leather, and other fetish material which are added along with a magic substance or charge that activates the power figure to protect and bring good fortune to the community or individuals. See Rand's site for more details http://www.randafricanart.com/you_be_the_judge.html
          >
          > The taller one is certainly not African and most likely originates from an Oceanic region such as Indonesia or Papua New Guinea. This piece also seems fairly contemporary based on the style. I have no idea what it represents as I have never seen anything quite like it.
          >
          > I must ask, was it frightening running into this fellow in the storage unit?
          >
          > Regards
          >
          > Dave Cassera
          >
          >
          > --- In African_Arts@yahoogroups.com, "lauri62fl" <lauri62fl@> wrote:
          > >
          > > Hi everyone! I found three large African (?) statues in a storage cleanout. The large one is about 5 feet tall, and quite heavy with moveable arms and legs. They are hand carved. It looks as if the teeth may be real... maybe pigs teeth? And the hair is haylike but courser, I'm thinking buffalo. The medium size one is built much like the larger one. Height is about 3 1/2 - 4 ft. He has male anatomy. The small one is very unique. It's materials are different. There is a wood base, but alot of bone and or horns are used, as well as shells and who know's what else. The head looks like it is covered in burlap? See photo of back of head, and almost looks like the shape of a coconut. The small one is about 3 feet tall. I have found similar style to the smaller one. But nothing like the 2 larger ones. If anyone can offer any kind of information I would be very thankful. I will list photos in a file lauri62fl. Thanks!
          > >
          > > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/African_Arts/photos/album/648253175/pic/list
          > >
          >
        • Lawrence
          Good grief! Yes indeed. Songye Nkisi, and the two darker figures are modern Indonesian.
          Message 4 of 5 , Feb 2, 2011
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            Good grief! Yes indeed. Songye Nkisi, and the two darker figures are modern Indonesian.
          • Beth Peart
            Yes, and the larger one, although it has cowrie shell eyes like a number of New Guinea figures, is, I think more likely from Indonesia/Java proper, as
            Message 5 of 5 , Feb 2, 2011
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               Yes, and the larger one, although it has cowrie shell eyes like a number of New Guinea  figures, is, I think more likely from Indonesia/Java proper, as stylistically (small details aside), it resembles the large number of small Indonesian 'wild man' figures sold to tourists and available in Indo-Pacific supplied craft stores and often mistaken as "African" by re-sellers. Parenthetically, there is a large industry in Indonesia based around African knock-offs, made for the trade, so some confusion among the inexperienced isn't all that surprising! 

              Beth


              Onisuru ni yio j'ogun aye.
              The patient person shall inherit the earth



              From: DC NYC <davidcassera@...>
              To: African_Arts@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Wed, February 2, 2011 12:09:33 AM
              Subject: [African_Arts] Re: Help with ID

               

              Hi Lauri,

              The smaller of the two figures is carved in the very distinct style of the Songye people from the Democratic Republic of Congo. My guess is that this one was made in the late 20th Century. Traditional examples of Songye statues or "power figures" are called Nkishi and often contain horns, shells, leather, and other fetish material which are added along with a magic substance or charge that activates the power figure to protect and bring good fortune to the community or individuals. See Rand's site for more details http://www.randafricanart.com/you_be_the_judge.html

              The taller one is certainly not African and most likely originates from an Oceanic region such as Indonesia or Papua New Guinea. This piece also seems fairly contemporary based on the style. I have no idea what it represents as I have never seen anything quite like it.

              I must ask, was it frightening running into this fellow in the storage unit?

              Regards

              Dave Cassera

              --- In African_Arts@yahoogroups.com, "lauri62fl" <lauri62fl@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hi everyone! I found three large African (?) statues in a storage cleanout. The large one is about 5 feet tall, and quite heavy with moveable arms and legs. They are hand carved. It looks as if the teeth may be real... maybe pigs teeth? And the hair is haylike but courser, I'm thinking buffalo. The medium size one is built much like the larger one. Height is about 3 1/2 - 4 ft. He has male anatomy. The small one is very unique. It's materials are different. There is a wood base, but alot of bone and or horns are used, as well as shells and who know's what else. The head looks like it is covered in burlap? See photo of back of head, and almost looks like the shape of a coconut. The small one is about 3 feet tall. I have found similar style to the smaller one. But nothing like the 2 larger ones. If anyone can offer any kind of information I would be very thankful. I will list photos in a file lauri62fl. Thanks!
              >
              > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/African_Arts/photos/album/648253175/pic/list
              >

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