ART FROM ANCIENT LANDS

Komaland Bronze Sculpture Depicting Three Figures - PF.4006
Origin: Northern Ghana
Circa: 1200 AD to 1600 AD
Dimensions: 10" (25.4cm) high
Catalogue: V19
Collection: African
Style: Komaland
Medium: Bronze

Though the precise meaning of Komaland sculptures is still being investigated, their aesthetic value was instantly recognized. The majority of objects found have been terracotta figures surrounding grave mounds. The uniqueness of this extraordinary sculpture cannot be overemphasized, due to its being cast in metal, and the remarkable configuration of the group. The three figures are positioned on a large cushion which is textured on the upper portion and decorated with delicately formed small birds around the middle. The wavy lines are like undulations of sand blown by a light breeze, or ripples over water. Both elements are part of earth which human beings must utilize and appease. The two end figures are of equal height and each holds a pair of 'rods' in both hands. Their breasts are prominent, they are wearing neck collars, ornamental necklaces and bracelets. These woman are probably wives of the chief, who may be at the center attired in a textured loincloth and woven bands around his abdomen. Only he has his feet and legs exposed, while the women's legs are bound tightly by their dresses. All three have their mouths open wide as if singing, or performing a chant calling out to the spirits. There is a sense of an important ceremony being conducted with the royal family participating, perhaps a ritual for ancestors, or even the death of the chief himself whose human form is here idealized. This amazing sculpture exudes a hypnotic power, continually tantalizing our imagination and intellect on many levels, always with an indefinable and inimitable charm. - (PF.4006)

 

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