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Tools and technology in Africa

A bronze huntsman

Height: 36.000 cm

AOA 1952.Af11.1

A bronze huntsman

From: Lower Niger, Nigeria
Date: 16th - 18th century AD

This brave hunter has his dog beside him and a dead antelope slung over his shoulders.

The statue was made using the 'lost wax' method. First, a rough clay figure was made. Next the clay was covered in beeswax, which was modelled into the shape of the hunter. More layers of clay were added round the outside. It was then fired in an oven. This made the wax melt, leaving a gap between the two layers of clay ('losing' the wax). Next, very hot liquid (molten) metal was poured into the gap left by the wax. When the object had cooled, the outside clay was broken off, showing the bronze huntsman inside. Some statues are still made like this today.