African Djenne Pottery Figure


15004. African Djenne Pottery Figure

Inland Niger Delta, Ca 13th to 16th Century AD

A rare fragmented male figure interacting with serpent, perhaps as part of an allegory or myth. He has large head tilted sideways with heavily laden eyes and mouth open. The pose suggests that this figure conveys an attitude similar to the snake slithering atop his sholder.

Size: 8 inches L. x 5-3/4 inches H.

Among the earliest known examples of art from sub-Saharan Africa are terracotta figures like this one from the inland delta of the Niger River, near the present-day home of the Dogon and Bamana peoples. Inhabited since 250 BC., Djenné became a market center and an important link in the trans Saharan gold trade. In the 15th and 16th centuries, it was one of the centres for the propagation of Islam.

Provenance: Ex Collection Joseph Knopfelmacher, New York, Acq 1970’s to 1980’s.

Very choice and expressive with archaeological patina.


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