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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Masterpieces of African Art : Attye Wooden Ancestor Sculpture
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Attye Wooden Ancestor Sculpture - PF.6015
Origin: Ivory Coast
Circa: 20th th Century AD
Dimensions: 22.5" (57.2cm) high
Collection: African
Style: Attye
Medium: Wood


Location: United States
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Description
The Attye people are one of the major tribes that inhabit the Lagoon region of the southeastern Ivory Coast. Artistically, they are heavily indebted to their neighbors, the Baule. This sculpture depicts woman standing erectly with her bulbous arms held to her side. Her hair has been gathered into two large egg-shaped buns that project from her head just above her ears. Her diminutive face is typical of the Attye style including her bulging lenticular eyes and her arching brows that merge into her inverted T- shaped nose. The small pegs that protrude slightly from the sides of her neck, her stomach, and her back are characteristic of the artistic output from this region of the Ivory Coast. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this sculpture is the way in which the sculptor has treated her hands and feet. Every joint and knuckle on her fingers and toes are individually rendered creating a unique effect. This sculpture probably commemorates a deceased ancestor who was continually adulated in the form of this work of art. In a society void of photography, sculptures were used to memorialize and honor the dead. In fact, the deceased were believed to play in active role in the lives of their descendents from beyond the grave. Thus such a work is not just a passive record of an individual but an active tool through with the favor of the deceased’s spirit can be influenced for the benevolence of the entire community. - (PF.6015)

 

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