Barakat Gallery
Login | Register | User Services | Search | Newsletter Sign-up
Barakat Gallery
HOME : African & Tribal Art : African Pottery : Chokwe Terracotta Monkey Vessel
Click to view original image.
Chokwe Terracotta Monkey Vessel - BF.013 (LSO)
Origin: Southwestern Congo/Angola/Zambia
Circa: 1850 AD to 1910 AD
Dimensions: 22" (55.9cm) high x 16" (40.6cm) wide
Collection: African Art
Medium: Terracotta

Additional Information: K
Location: Great Britain
Currency Converter
Place On Hold
Ask a Question
Email to a Friend
Previous Item
Next Item
Photo Gallery
Click photo to change image.
Print image
This amusing and attractive piece seems to have been made by the Chokwe people of Angola/Zaire, although it is remarkably unusual and may be an exceptional object from another tribe. It is a very substantial terracotta vessel which has been shaped partially into low relief arms that come together on the front of the vessel as if around a bulging abdomen. To augment the zoomorphic impression, the top of the vessel has been formed into the face and head of a monkey, the back of whose head can be detached to access the interior of the vessel. It is clearly a container of some sort – perhaps for water – and the personage portrayed seems to be wealthy to judge from his/her large hoop earrings and necklace.

The Chokwe (Tchokwe) of Angola and Zaire are a highly complex and multifaceted group. The mwanangana (local ruler) held sway over a deeply ritualised and religious environment where every element, no matter how disparate, would be forced to obey his authority. In order to make manifest the validity of his rule, the rulers and other members of the elite often hired specialist artesans and craftsmen whose skills exceeded those of the Songi and Fuli, semi- professional craftsmen who were responsible for the production of utiltarian and everyday objects. The specialists manufactured regalia and magicoreligious artefacts, such as ancestor statues and representations of Tshibinda Ilunga (the semi-mythical founder of the Chokwe) and their work is highly refined and of great value.

Conceptualisation, execution and condition are all excellent. This is a charming piece of African art.

- (BF.013 (LSO))


Home About Us Help Contact Us Services Publications Search
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy Security

Copyright (c) 2000-2022 by Barakat, Inc. All Rights Reserved - TEL 310.859.8408 - FAX 310.276.1346

coldfusion hosting