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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Bankoni : Bankoni Terracotta Sculpture of a Woman
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Bankoni Terracotta Sculpture of a Woman - PF.5757
Origin: Mali
Circa: 12 th Century AD to 16 th Century AD
Dimensions: 19" (48.3cm) high x 6.75" (17.1cm) wide
Collection: African
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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This delightful sculpture comes from the inland Niger River Delta region in modern day Mali. Of the many styles discovered in the area, the Bankoni are among the most famous and fruitful. All the objects made by the various civilizations, as a rule, can be dated from the 12th to the 16th century A.D. The works of the Bankoni can be characterized by their elongated proportions and distinctive faces. The facial structures are rather simply modeled. The eyes and mouth are vertical slits incised into the clay while the nose is a prominent ridge and the ears protrude like to seashells. This female figure wears a few armbands, highlighting the joins of her limbs. Her breasts and navel all little projecting mounds that rise out of the cylindrical shaft of her torso. Her hands meet at her pubic region and merge into her large, stumpy legs. The culture that created this masterpiece of early black African sculpture and its customs remain unknown. However, their artistic excellence and elegant simplicity are resounding. - (PF.5757)


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