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Dogon Bronze Zoomporphic Horse Mali Africa
Additional Information: A superb, large cast brass Dogon equestrian figure.  The form is unique, with striations and geometric patterns.  The focal point of the sculputre is the crown atop the horse's head, perhaps signifying the prestigious nature of the horse in Dogon lore.  Bronze/Brass and iron figures are identified with Dogon myths of creation, as the blacksmith was one of the first primordial beings known as Nommo created by Ama who is one of the major Dogon deities. The identity between the Nommo and the blacksmith creates a bond and an identity that gives the blacksmith special powers which include the ability to call down rain so important in Dogon life. Figures such as this would be placed in the Binu sanctuary, a sacred shelter where the Dogon keep objects of magical importance. This sculpture reflects the artistry, power, and authority of the Dogon blacksmith, as it was he who also carved the well-known wooden sculptures used by the Dogon. Iron sculpture special meaning for the Dogon for they blend symbol and a powerful aesthetic in a very abstract image. According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art's ART OF THE DOGON-SELECTIONS FROM THE LESTER WONDERMAN COLLECTION (which has an outstanding Dogon horse and rider on the cover,) "Dogon figures depicting horses and riders reflect the prestige and power surrounding an animal that has been associated with royalty since horses were introduced to West Africa more than a thousand years ago." "Dogon equestrian figures are most often identified as images of the HOGON, since in Dogon society horses are a luxury generally reserved for rich an powerful people. ." Horses appear in Dogon mythology about the creation of the world, and the horse has been interpreted as a blacksmith who represents NOMMO, or other mythological beings. According to DOGON CLIFF DWELLERS, by Imperato (which I am selling on eBay) the horse was the first animal to leave the ark, in Dogon mythology, and symbolize chieftainship, power, and wealth. Recommended Reading: For more information on the Dogon, see Laude's AFRICAN ART OF THE DOGON. Africa Direct
Kente Cloth Pillow Green African 22 x 22 inch
Pillow made with a vintage Kente cotton handwoven textile from Ghana. The black fabric is a 100% polyester suede. Pillow insert has a cotton cover, and polyester fill. Zipper in the center back. Spot clean only, Kente colors may bleed. We do not recommend laundering textiles, and do not accept returns of textiles which have been laundered in any manner.  Even dry cleaning is too much for some of these antique textiles.  For some of them, a very gentle HAND washing  (NEVER MACHINE, on any setting)  in cool water with a very gentle detergent works, but even then, dyes may not be colorfast, and fabric may be less strong than it appears. Africa Direct
Giraffe Wood Carving Zimbabwe 37 inch Africa
Additional Information: Mukwa or Mukungu wood. I spent many hours in South Africa a few years ago, I looked at hundreds of giraffes, and carefully chose the best. Zimbabwe's horrific social and economic wars have reduced tourism to a trickle, and so many sculptors are making their way with their giraffes to South Africa. I can only get them when they're being sent home in a container--otherwise air shipping is prohibitive. Zimbabwe giraffes are, in my opinion, vastly superior to those being carved in Kenya. Zimbabwe is home to Shona sculptors, and the best of the giraffes, carved by both Shona and Ndebele, are by turns regal, humerous, and majestic. Each has a different expression. You have probably been reading about Zimbabwe's agony. More than half of the population will starve without international aid, and the carvers are no exception. Africa Direct
Tonga Binga Basket Zimbabwe Africa 16 Inch
These solid-edged baskets are the apex of the basketmaker's art in Zimbabwe. Africa Direct
Maravi Chemba Figure Head Facing Sky Zambia African Art
  Additional Information: A rare sculpture coming  from the  Maravi or Chemba. Figures from this people are very rare to find. The figure has the turned head facing the sky, large ears strong triangularly nose and large open mouth very similar to the figures found among the Chemba.  The short arms and a head facing the sky make this piece exceptional. This figure is probably a representation of a female figure  base on the volume of its breasts. The patina shows much handling and good age. An interesting piece indeed! The Chemba and other peoples from the Maravi group are well-known for their masks used in the Nyau masquerade association. Figures such as this were also used in the initiation rites of young boys and girls  into adulthood. But no details on their function and uses have been reported.They may represent ancestral spirit invoked probably for protection and goodwill. The art from Malawi is less researched and published than Western and Central art. I have examined this piece and agree with the description Niangi Batulukisi, PhD. Africa Direct
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