Figure with Left Arm Extended (Primary Title)

Unknown (Artist)

19th-20th century
Dagara (Burkina Faso, Ghana)
wood
Burkina Faso
Overall: 19 3/8 × 9 5/8 × 4 3/8 in. (49.21 × 24.45 × 11.11 cm)
2006.81
Dagara sculptures express the stages of becoming an ancestor. This figure represents a deceased man who is not yet regarded as an ancestor (see figure to left), but whose spirit is “unfinished” or wandering and is looked upon with caution. The extended left arm is a gesture from a warrior’s dance that invokes the powers of the ancestors prior to a battle.
Gift of Robert and Nancy Nooter
Daniela Bognolo, Visions of Africa: Lobi (Milan: 5 Continents, 2007), ills. pp. 131 & n.p., plate 11.

Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

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