African art > Monolith, megalith, cross river, nkoro, african art > Sapi stone
French African art collection.
Groups living in Sierra Leone, Mende and Kissi, mostly rice farmers, worship stone statues from the Sapi kingdom. The latter extended, until the 16th century, from Guinea to Liberia.
The "nomoli" of the Mendé, placed on altars, benefited from libations in order to increase the harvest. These stone sculptures, mainly in steatite or saponite, called pombo (deceased) played on the other hand, among the Kissi of Guinea, a role of intermediary with the ancestors. The representations are varied, but one constant remains, the proportion of the head in relation to the body. Often depicted seated or squatting as is the case here, the characters offer exaggerated features and apparent teeth. A figure of a saurian crowns the head of the subject, its tail ...