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Height: 59.5 Centimeters
Wood, Metal, Nails
Early 20th Century
Beautiful large sculpture traditional Hemba features encrusted dark patina
US East Coast - Estimated $18.00
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Documentation of Authenticity / Any Available Provenance Will Be Included With This Piece
CONDITION Wood deterioration, worn areas, chips and scrapes, large age cracks, overall condition good. Thank you and please view my other items.
BACKGROUND In southeast DRC, the Hemba people inhabit vast plains surrounded by high hills and bordered by streams, rocks, and marshes. The Hemba are primarily subsistence agriculturalists whose main staples include manioc, maize, peanuts, sesame, yams and beans. These crops are supplemented by small scale hunting and fishing done mostly by the men. Some alluvial copper is panned from the river and sold to outside markets. The Hemba are divided into large clans, which, by definition, are families with a common ancestor. The hereditary chief of each clan renders justice and has the privilege of receiving numerous gifts. The Hemba practice ancestor worship to justify the present authority and power of the chief of the clan. The veneration of ancestors is an important feature of life in large Hemba families. The ancestor’s figures are traditionally carved with hands placed on either side his stomach; it indicates that he is watching over the clan. The ovoid face is full and round, suggesting interior calm; the hair is dressed with a carved diadem, the beard frames the face.
Painter Fred Uhlman words - Most of the artists I admired, Picasso, Modigliani, Deraini, to mention only a few, had collected African art and had been profoundly
influenced by it. Shortly afterwards I bought the Baule Fetish and the Baule bobbin which are still two of the finest pieces in my collection. It is easy to see
why I bought them and why from that moment I have never stopped collecting. The head of the bobbin or heddle - pulley which is after all only a functional
object for the purpose of weaving seemed to me then and today as beautiful as a Greek goddess. The fetish moved me as deeply as the bobbin by its silent
tragic dignity and its air of profound meditation.
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This item has been shown 77 times.
Gothamgallery Fine African Art - Drc Hemba Tribal Figure: $96