The Makonde are distinguished for creating very
realistic sculptures, in contrast to the more abstract
styles of their neighbors. This very powerful seated
male is a perfect example of realism taken to a level
on par with European sculpture of the 20th.Century.
The pure expression of form and volume, trimmed
down to its bare essentials, allows the full personality
of the figure to come through. Our attention is
immediately drawn to the amazing face. Its features
show a degree of asymmetry in the drooping right
eye, bent nose and pursed lips. But it is these
aspects which give the face such character and
individuality. He may be a scribe or venerable village
griot (reciter of legends), calmly holding his book
while meditating on the images before his eyes.
There is a definite 'ancient' quality to this sculpture,
and one feels it could have been created before
recorded time. Through inspiration and insight a
talented anonymous artist has left behind an image
that captures man, seen at his best as a meditative,
kindly and thoughtful being.