DescriptionFante (Ghana, Western Africa)
Wood and pigment
Height: 14 inches
The Fante people are a subgroup of the Akan living in Ghana. They have had close ties to Europe with the arrival of the Portuguese in the 15th century. Like other Akan people, the Fante create small devotional sculptures which are kept in shrines. Because the Fante are matrilineal, they are often female as is the case with this example.
The sculpture has been covered with a white pigment, which reflects the practices of Fante devotees who would use kaolin or chalk to create a white sheen to their skin. They body of the figure is craved rigidly and is shown striding forward. There is damage to the proper right foot. The hair is carved into an elaborate braided coiffure and there is evidence of scarification on the torso, face, and back of the figure.
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