Figure

Figure

1800s

Pottery

Overall: 12.7 cm (5 in.)

Gift of Katherine C. White 1974.205

Description

A master female potter among the Asante created this clay sculpture to commemorate the departed. While not a naturalistic portrait, this figure depicts features associated with the dead person such as coiffure or facial marks. The rolls of flesh on the neck are a widespread artistic convention for beauty, prosperity, and well-being. After placing the memorial in a sacred forest clearing, family members invoked the spirit of the departed and asked it to accept the sculpture and facilitate communications with ancestors.

See also
Collection: 
African Art
Department: 
African Art
Type of artwork: 
Sculpture
Medium: 
Pottery

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