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African art - Sarakole:

Sao bronze
African art > Bronze, leopard, messenger, warrior, statue, pirogues > Sao bronze

Used as an amulet credited with apotropaic virtues, this small bronze sculpture constitutes, for the Sao, a talisman supposed to protect them from madness. It is therefore worn at all times. The genie that would possess the madman is represented by the rider, the horse representing the victim. This rider, wearing a chèche, rides an equine, which was a rare attribute of prestige in these regions of the Sahel, and has a lustrous patina. The Sao, ancestors of the Kotoko, were established between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries in a geographical area stretching across the borders between Chad, northern Cameroon and Nigeria. They settled on hills, which allowed them to repel invaders. Subjected to successive assaults by their neighbors from Kanem and then by hordes from the East, ...

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