African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statue Dan
Figure Dan L-Me - Ivory Coast (N° 17753)
The female figure, shown seated, presents a spoon with a handle forming an infant's head. These ritual spoons were emblems offered to women in hospital. Heterogeneous patina, grainy, kaolin-encrusted residue, abrasions.
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For the Dan of Côte d'Ivoire, also known as Yacouba, two distinct universes oppose each other: that of the village, composed of its inhabitants, its animals, and that of the forest, its vegetation and the animals and spirits that inhabit it. In order for these spirits to be established, a specific area of the forest is designated and still preserved outside the villages dan. Sacrifices are also required in order to communicate through these spirits. Gifts of women, food, festive ceremonies and honorable status once rewarded the dan sculptors to whom this talent was granted during a dream. The latter was the means of communication of Du, invisible spiritual power, with men. Statuary, rare, played a prestigious role with its holder. These are mainly effigies of wives, la m , wooden human beings. These are not incarnations of spirits or effigies of ancestors, but prestigious figures representing living people, often commanded by the chiefs, whose statues will bear the names. They are placed in miniature boxes built for this purpose.
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