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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Bambara Sculptures : Bambara Iron Sculpture of an Antelope and Baby
Bambara Iron Sculpture of an Antelope and Baby - PF.4466
Origin: Central Mali
Circa: 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 12.5" (31.8cm) high x 12.5" (31.8cm) wide
Collection: African
Medium: Iron

$3,000.00
Location: United States
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Description
The importance of certain animals in African societies cannot be understated. Even if they are not related to food, such as the domesticated cow, or hunted for food and hide, they often play an integral part in religion and a tribe's social life. For the Bambara the antelope represents a mythical character who taught them the art of cultivation. It's visual representation occurs often in various forms. For instance, after circumcision young boys partake of a dance ceremony run by the blacksmiths who wear large masks carved in the shape of an antelope head. Art, religion and animal life intermingle to form a complex fabric.

The Bambara are known for their fine sculptures and here we have a delightful example. It shows an antelope with a baby on her back. Though contrary to this particular animal's way of carrying her young, the artist's inventiveness has given full expression to the tenderness animals often feel for their offspring. The whole object is beautifully balanced by the elongated body and the very long horns of the mother. By raising her front legs an impression is given of movement, as if they are calmly walking along a grassy plain. With extraordinary simplicity of detail, the sculptor has breathed life into iron, depicting the gentle antelope so important to his people.
- (PF.4466)

 

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