The hard wood of this female Koulango statue, from the Ivory Coast in the early 20th century, has developed a beautiful black patina. With hands resting on the abdomen, and the neck ringed, as is common in Koulango art, the pose and the face of the statue are calm, as is appropriate to what is likely an ancestral figure.
The art and some of the practices of the Koulango people is closely related to the neighbouring Lobi people, whose ‘Bateba’ wooden figurines bear a similarity to those of the Koulango. With an animist religion, and a matrilineal society, an elegantly carved female figurine such as this would have held a deep importance in the Koulango worldview.
Dimensions: H 58cm, W 12cm, D 7cm