Collection online

figure

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    Af1925,1125.1.a-b

  • Description

    Female figure (a) made of heavy grained wood with detachable head (b). Figure is kneeling with hands resting on thighs. Protrusion on chin and cross-hatching along jaw possibly indicates beard? Further cross-hatching on shoulders and flat projection across thighs may suggest a skirt or garment. Hair is arranged in parallel rows; wears necklace of large beads.

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  • Date

    • 19thC(early) (before)
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 50 centimetres (a+b)
    • Width: 14 centimetres (a+b)
    • Depth: 14 centimetres (a+b)
  • Curator's comments

    This may be a figure described in 1927 by Eldred which he discovered in a natural rock shelter near Kakoia, in northern province, Sierra Leone. It appears to have been one of a pair (the other being male which was reportedly stolen around 50 years earlier). The headman attested that the figures 'were there before he, or his father, or his grandfather, and are so old that no one knows who they are, who made them, or who brought them to this place' (Sayers, 1927).

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  • Bibliography

    • Lamp, 1990 bibliographic details
    • Fagg 1961 p.63 bibliographic details
    • Sayers 1927 pp.92-94 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:
    1924, Apr-Oct, London, Wembley, British Empire Exhibition

  • Condition

    Fair; tips of breasts broken off, one ear mssing.

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1925

  • Acquisition notes

    'E.F.Sayers (colonial officer, Sierra Leone and one of the 1924 British Empire Exhibition commisioners) described an ancient wooden statuette bearing a marked resemblance to this figure in a cave near Kakoia, a Limba town in the north of Sierra Leone. It is possible, therefore, that this is that ancient figure from Kakoia and that Sayers had removed it and brought it to London for its own preservation (in the article in which he describes the figure, he says that it showed signs of having been damaged by local children)'. [Bill Hart, personal communication, June 2010].

  • Department

    Africa, Oceania & the Americas

  • Registration number

    Af1925,1125.1.a-b

  • Additional IDs

    • Af1925,1125.1 (previously recorded as)
Female figure (two pieces); carved of wood; female figure, kneeling with hands resting on thighs; shoulders carved with geometric pattern; head separate piece, carved with striped head-dress/hair?.

Female figure (two pieces); carved of wood; female figure, kneeling with hands resting on thighs; shoulders carved with geometric pattern; head separate piece, carved with striped head-dress/hair?.

Image description

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Object reference number: EAF3002

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