Re: Unknown Tribal Figure
It definitely looks East African to me, Kenyan in particular. At first glance, the figure appears Maasai, especially the neck decoration. But I don't think the Maasai carve figures. (Please correct me if I'm wrong.)
The most likely attribution is Kamba whose low three-legged stools also match the one seen here. This figure is probably a recent production, because the style is very unlike the old Kamba figures or colonial ones.
On the other hand, it could be carved by Makonde carvers in nearby Tanzania, who are famous for creating new genres.
--- In African_Arts@yahoogroups.com, Pauline Walker <paulinewalker2@...> wrote:
> I have just joined your group and
> I was wondering if you can help me, I am new to collecting tribal art, and
> have been given this figure, pictures attached. The wood is quite heavy and
> the figure is approx.15 cm high and 10cm across.Can you tell me if it is
> tribal or just a touristy thing. I have been looking at your website which I
> found fascinating. I cannot find any tribe that carves this shaped head. I
> really would appreciate your knowlege in identifying him.
> Pauline Walker.
I can't state with certainty the origin of your figure, but the density of the wood (to which you refer) and its dark finish combined with the appearance of both the three-legged stool with rounded feet and the pronounced ears (which can be observed) suggest that it may be a reasonably contemporary Kenyan hardwood carving, possibly classifiable as Kamba. It should be noted, however, that any and all of these elements could be produced throughout the larger East African region, as Kenyan carving both bears similarity to and has been strongly influenced by other producers throughout the region.
--- In African_Arts@yahoogroups.com, "Lawrence" <lawrence_owens@...> wrote:
> The only group I can think of that demonstrates this head shape is the Baga; however, I feel that this piece is a modern rendering of various stylistic trends that are not really specific to any one group; the pose and the other elements of the piece are not particularly Baga. Further, the patina is too dark, regular and glossy, and the figure was probably made in Nigeria for the tourist market. I am prepared to be proven wrong, of course! Good luck with the collection, Lawrence
- I want to thank everyone who has contributedtheir knowledge of my figure, it has given me some insight into what to look for in the future.Cheers Pauline