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Kulango Statue

  • Kulango Statue
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Item 456
8.00 LBS
Maximum Purchase:
1 unit(s)

Product Description

This special section features items that we are particularly proud of. They are all museum grade quality and will be of interest to the most discriminating of buyers.

The Kulango from the northern part of the Ivory Coast were a prosperous group of people and over time proved to be very resilient. Historically they were ruled by a king and elders who directed community life, based around the agricultural calendar. They had a vigorous and prosperous economy supported mainly by Muslim traders. The traders would also come into the Kulango region with the intention of converting the locals to Islam. However, the Kulango resisted. The majority continued to practice their traditional ethnic religions. They believe in a supreme god who is not worshiped but is addressed in association with "mother earth." Unfortunately during the 17th century life for the Kulango became very grim. They suffered through a series of migrations from the Akan and Lobi people and hostile invasions from the Mandingo people who enslaved them and almost brought their culture to an end. This same African region was later infiltrated by French colonialist. Through it all the Kulango have survived and their art and culture is slowly resurfacing. The Akan say that in order not to repeat the past one must remember it. That’s a hard thing to do especially when the past has many painful periods. In general African artist will not portray their fellows in any light but a good one. There are a few exceptions one being the Pende with their Mbangu mask which shows a face twisted in pain from a disease that ravaged their territory but again this is not the norm. In a startling artistic endeavor this Kulango carver has captured an enslaved villager in an emaciated enslaved state. The Kulango have suffered through many defeats from rival tribes with the final most stinging blow coming from European invaders. All in all the Kulango rose from the ashes and regained a positive foothold as a community on life! Together they rose perhaps by not fearing their past but rather by never forgetting it and this statue serves as a reminder. The bare nature of the wood used seems to enhance the desperate condition of the prisoner. Torn feet, thin legs bent at the knee, protruding rib laced torso forced outward by tightly shackled hands pinned securely with a lock while shoulder blades are drawn painfully back, collared neck rising high supporting a still proud face topped by braided twine like hair wrapped under weighted head gear…a man awaiting his cruel fate…but he is hiding in the hollow of a tree, perhaps he has escaped! 

Please click photo for enlargement!


"This is a marvelous selection that we are proud to offer." ~Kim

Dimensions: 26 inches tall x 6 inches wide x 8 inches deep. When placed on the beautiful custom wood base add 2 inches to the overall height. 

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