African art > Bronze, leopard, messenger, warrior, statue, pirogues > Sao rider
Sao Sokoto rider (N° 20110)
This bronze has a coppery patina. The warrior represented on his mount has his head wrapped in a chêche identical to those of the Tuaregs.
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In African art, works of Sao Sokoto inspiration are mostly marked by the equestrian world.
Within the ethnic group, small examples of horsemen, generally in bronze, are cast and worn as talismans, patinated and polished by rubbing. They are considered above all as a remedy against possession by evil spirits.
The horse represents the spirit of the person who is possessed, while the genie that possesses him is symbolized by the rider.
Subjected to successive assaults by their neighbors from Kanem and then by hordes from the East, the Sao had to abandon their lands to settle in the North-West of Cameroon where they mixed with the natives, thus giving birth to an ethnic group called Kotoko.
More than an ethnic group, the Sao are a civilization that has now disappeared. They were found between the 12th and 14th centuries in a geographical area stretching across the borders between Chad, Cameroon and Nigeria.
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