A fragmentary Dan sculpture, Ivory Coast/Liberia. The stocky legs are slightly angulated, the gluteal muscles are tense, the slender torso has finely carved breasts with cherry-shaped nipples, and the arms carved in open work close to the slender torso. Atop the thick neck is a head with a mask-like face with narrow eyes and a small nose, a broad and sensual mouth, set low in the tiny chin and little ears. The hair is in the form of five braided threads. Leaf-shaped carved tattoos over the clavicle, on the breasts, on the stomach and on the thighs;
Heavy, hard wood, dark surface and partly glossy. Remnants of white Kaolin. Parts of the feet are missing. Abrasions on the backside of both arms and on the left gluteus. Incl. stand.
These wooden figures called lü me, „wooden person“, are neither ancestor figures nor representations of spirits. They are genuine portraits as all the reports of Dan fieldworkers confirm. The subjects are usually living people, whose name the figures bear, but they may also be „pure works of art“ (Donner, 1949: 80), created by sculptors because they had the urge to carve a fine figure. According to the reports of some Dan artists, these figures are usually just the fancy of a wealthy man who, given proof of the carver´s skill, commissions a portrait of his headwife… .“
The arts of the Dan in West Africa. Eberhard Fischer, Hans Himmelheber, Museum Rietberg Zürich, 1984, 117.
Four Dan sculptors, continuity and change. Johnson, Barbara C. San Francisco: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, 1986.
The arts of the Dan in West Africa. Eberhard Fischer, Hans Himmelheber, Museum Rietberg Zürich, 1984, 117ff.
800 – 1.000,- Euro
Height: 64 cm
Weight: 3,3 kg