Gothamgallery Fine African Art - Sierra Leone Nomoli Stone Figure
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Gothamgallery Fine African Art - Sierra Leone Nomoli Stone Figure:
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Fine Old African Sierra Leone Nomoli Stone Figure
Height: 14 Centimeters
Measurements Sculpture Only
Estimated 15th - 16th Century
Fair - Good
Stylized figure exaggerated features ancient art form aged surface
US East Coast - Estimated $15.00
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Documentation of Authenticity / Any Available Provenance Will Be Included With This Piece.
Surface deterioration, worn areas, chips and scrapes, cracks, overall condition fair to good. Thank you and please view my other items.
Nomoli figures were carved by the Sherbro / Bulom during the 15th and 16th centuries while they were still living on the mainland. They evidently used them as ancestor figures and buried them with their immediate descendants. When the Mende move into this area and began to cultivate the land, they unearthed these soapstone figures. Since the Mende where planting rice they associated the figures with rice spirits. They placed them in shrines in the field where offerings were placed at the beginning of the planting season and during the growing season. If the harvest is good more offerings are poured over the figure. However, if the harvest is not as good as expected the Nomoli is taken out of the shrine and hit with a stick while being told to do better in the future.
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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