A fine Eastern Pende Panya-Gombe African mask. Coll.: David Norden
Virtual Museum of African Art
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Enjoy, David Norden.
Provenance:I sold this Bamana mask, I got it from Peter Westerdijk who got it from his father. He got it in an exchange with the ex-Musée d'Histoire naturelle Rouen -France around 1960 (Located northwest of Paris, Rouen was made famous by Monet who painted its cathedral thirty-six times.)
This wooden sculpture is one of the oldest known from Sub-Saharan Africa, and was created by an artist of the Djenne culture, an early and sophisticated civilization that existed in present-day Mali. It likely represents an ancestral clan founder, whose role as a ruler and hunter are indicated by his jewelry, weapons, and position on horseback. Horses played an important role in West African society, adding to the power and prestige of their owners because of their rarity. Also, a man physically and mentally strong enough to control a horse gained great respect in his community. The man's size is exaggerated in this depiction to illustrate his importance. ( Minneapolis Museum MIA collection)
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Tribal Arts of Africa
Author: Jean-Baptiste Bacquart
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