African art > Maternity, statues, bronze, wood > Dan statue

Dan Lü mei Maternity (N° 20632)

Succession of curves for this figure of Dan maternity camped on powerful legs, and whose child clings to the back.
The curved face, surmounted by a refined headdress streaked with braids, recalls dance masks, while numerous scarifications are imprinted on the bust. Lustrous black patina, locally encrusted with residual kaolin.
For the Dan of the Ivory Coast, also called Yacouba, two very distinct universes are opposed: that of the village, composed of its inhabitants and its animals, and that of the forest, its vegetation and the animals and spirits that populate it. Gifts of women, food, festive ceremonies and an honorable status were formerly rewarded to the Dan carvers to whom this talent was granted during a dream. The latter constituted the means of communication of Du , invisible spiritual power, with men. The statuary, rare, held a role of prestige to its holder. They are mainly effigies of wives, lü mä , wooden human beings. These are not incarnations of spirits or effigies of ancestors, but prestige figures representing living persons, often commissioned by the chiefs, whose names the statues will bear. They are placed in miniature huts built for this purpose.  

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OriginCollection française G.
EthnyDan
Countrycôte d'ivoire
Material(s)wood
Height49
Width13
Weight1.60 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle includedYes

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