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Tribal art > African Statues > Sakalava statue

Sakalava statue (N° 22986)

Ex-collection African tribal art Belgian
The most famous plastic achievements of the Malagasy consist of a statuary linked to funerary rites. If the statues of the Mahafaly were an integral part of the aloalo pillars, as the fragments of panels above the heads bear witness to, the figures of Sakalava ancestors, in the round, frequently represent the deceased and his companion of the opposite sex. The north-east of the tomb, a sacred position associated with the dawn, the resurrection, the ideal moment for circumcision as well, was considered by the Malagasy as the favorable place for the installation of the statue of the deceased. To the southwest of the tomb, on the other hand, was installed the image of his partner of the opposite sex, symbolizing an ideal union. This male ancestor figure is represented naked, frozen in a rectilinear position. The wind, the salt and the sand have contributed to criss-crossing, cracking these figures, giving the wood this characteristic desiccation, resulting in an exceptional dullness of the light patina. The tropical island of Madagascar is located off the coast of Mozambique. Its first inhabitants would be made up of Polynesians who would have found refuge on the eastern coast of Africa, but would have been pushed back by Arab-Muslim traders. Several kingdoms developed there from 1500, including that of Sakalava on the west coast of the island. According to some authors, the Vezo fishermen of the south coast produced similar carvings. From the Guy Mercier tribal art collection, consultant for the Solvay group, which undertook it at the beginning of the 20th century. While radiating in West and Central Africa as part of his work, and collecting in-situ works, the majority of his collection nevertheless comes from "cabinets of curiosities" which abounded in European capitals during the years. 20. It also comes from prestigious galleries (Paris, Brussels, London, New York).  

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OriginEx-Collection belge CM
EthnySakalava
CountryMadagascar
Material(s)wood
Height cm57
Width13 cm
Weight1.72 Kg
Estimated dating1ère halfxx°
Socle includedYes

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