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    Baga (Guinea)
    Caryatid Drum with Horse Support (timba)
    Wood, paint, hide, fiber

    A male drum (timba) of the kind used by adult males of important ritual standing, principally in the male initiation ceremonies called Kä-bërë-Tshol, or "entering the medicine". "The final dance of the advanced initiation was accompanied by immense drums like these (the similar example in the Royal Ontaio Musuem, Toronto), which celebrated adult power." (Frederick Lamp.Art of the Baga. A Drama of Cultural Reinvention. New York: The Museum for African Art & Prestel Verlag, 1996, pp.119-122). Further pre-Islamization uses of the timba were for weddings, the funerals of male elders, and post-harvest sacrifices to the ancestors. "The entire image presented by the timba might be better understood if we regard it as a large drum head seated upon a stool. The timba substructure is very similar to, if generally somewhat larger than, the stool of an elder...Sitting on such a stool, the timba drum barrel seems to substitute for the elder, perhaps as the elder's voice in ritual affairs" (Lamp, loc. cit., p.122). Throughout West Africa, the horse is a prestige symbol, as these animals are expensive to obtain and to keep. Thus the horse's use as the caryatid support is a further statement of the drum's seniority and high status, as well as of those who use it. Among the Baga, the horse, introduced with the arrival of French colonial authority, was given a further, if somewhat ambivalent, cast as a symbol of power and invincibility.

    Rolf de Maré, Kenya and Stockholm, collected before 1938
    Private Collection, Stockholm (inherited from de Maré), 1964-2003)
    Sotheby's, Paris, Sale PF3015, Lot no.83.
    Gary Hendershott, Little Rock

    Condition Report*: Condition report available upon request.
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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2007
    7th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,187

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