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HOME : African & Tribal Art : African Weapons : Ngandu Iron Spearhead
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Ngandu Iron Spearhead - PF.4823
Origin: Western Congo
Circa: 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 25.125" (63.8cm) high x 5.5" (14.0cm) wide
Collection: African Art
Medium: Iron

Location: United States
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Though made as a weapon, this spearhead is a true sculpture. How is it possible an object intended for the hunt, or for war, can be aesthetically beautiful? The answer may lie in the blacksmith's intent to achieve perfection, to form the material into a shape that is harmoniously balanced for maximum effectiveness. In so doing he has elevated a utilitarian object to the level of art. The elegant shape of this spearhead encourages the eye to explore its varied surface texture-- starting from the sharp tip, descending along the curvaceous side to the delicate dual points at the base, and then up the other side. The effect of this visual investigation is artistically very satisfying. The blacksmith himself is regarded as someone possessing magical powers, who can manipulate incrediably hard materials into any shape he desires. There is also the underlying feeling of excitement that while stationary this spear is a work of art, and yet it could turn into a lethal weapon with the flick of a wrist. This latent and intense energy is part of its appeal, and something which will last forever. - (PF.4823)


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