African art > Bronze > Bronze Sao
Horseman Sao Kotoko (N° 18669)
This bronze has a copper patina. The warrior depicted on his mount has his head wrapped in a choir identical to those of the Tuareg.
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In African art, The Works of Sao Sokoto Inspiration are mostly imprinted with the equestrian world. Within the ethnic group, small specimens of riders usually in bronze are melted and worn like talismans, patinated and lustrous by friction. They are seen above all as a remedy to fight possession by evil spirits. The horse represents the spirit of the person who is possessed, while the genius who possesses it is symbolized by the rider. Subjected to the successive onslaughts of their neighbours in Kanem and then to hordes from the east, the Sao had to abandon their lands to settle in northwestern Cameroon where they mixed with the natives giving birth to an ethnic group named Kotoko.More than an ethnic group, the Sao are a civilization that is now extinct. They were found between the 12th and 14th centuries in a geographical area extending along the borders between Chad, Cameroon and Nigeria.
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