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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Bura : Bura Terracotta Head
Bura Terracotta Head - PF.4659
Origin: Burkina Faso/Niger
Circa: 3 rd Century AD to 11 th Century AD

Collection: African
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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The early terracottas from the Niger river region are known for their power and elemental simplicity. Often they are small heads made with such delicacy and restraint they seem a gift of nature; a thing rare and lovely that transcends the tangle of the world and occupies its own space of pure tranquility. This delightful head belongs in this exclusive category of sculpture which seem primitive, and yet very modern at the same time. It's face is oval with close set eyes, long nose and petite mouth. Striations in the form of three vertical lines on each cheek and forehead indicate ritual scarification; and suggest this may be a portrait bust of an important ancestor. There is an impression of someone with a very endearing nature; gentle and wise, of no particular age, who offers compassion and understanding to whomever he meets. A childlike quality blends with sophistication to become many things at once- child and venerable elder, man and woman, human and spirit. With clever use of material and a refined imagination, a sculptor long ago has left us an enduring work of art. - (PF.4659)


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