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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Djenne : Djenne Terracotta Sculpture
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Djenne Terracotta Sculpture - PF.3277
Origin: Central Mali
Circa: 12 th Century AD to 14 th Century AD
Dimensions: 12" (30.5cm) high x 8.5" (21.6cm) wide
Collection: African Art
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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This marvelous terracotta sculpture was created by skillful artisans in the west Republic of Mali. Around the time of tis creation the Mali Empire was at its zenith, for by the end of the 13th Century the legendary king Sundjiata had greatly enlarged both the wealth and size of this territory. Created in such prosperous and glorious period, the bell-shaped sculpture displays elegance and grace through its simple, minimal sculptural quality. Although the sculpture is in the shape of a bell, it most likely had other important functions in the the royal quarter of ancient Mali. Supported by the wide circular bottom, a handle like structure is placed on the narrower top portion (which also has a small hole) of the sculpture. Morever, patterned incision lines encircle the body to enhance the simple grace of the sculpture. Such beautiful work of art perhaps was used as a base of a royal seat or a bed. Or perhaps it was used as a cover for burning incense which filled the royal court with its aroma. Although we do not know the sculpture's function for certain, we undoubtedly can see and feel the royal beauty of the sculpture which would be appreciated through out the ages to come. - (PF.3277)


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