A female Bankoni terracotta of fragmentary form, the head with long nose and ear hangings broken off and reassembled, the upper body showing various jewellery elements, on the neck a kind of chain and in the abdominal area consisting of applied knobs and hoops on the upper arms. This sculpture shows similar traces of a tradition of figurative representations in cast metal and fired clay from the 14th and 15th centuries. Other sculptures in the "Bankoni style" have been found in the Bamana region in Bougouni and Diola.
Specifically, the Bankoni style is a ceramic style that - along with the Djenne style - was the most important stylistic subdivision of the Mali Empire. The Djenne and Bankoni styles existed at the same time and the people of these two cultures lived around the cities of Djenne-Djenno and Bamako. Djenne and Bankoni sculpture are of great importance in the development of West African art styles. We find seated, standing and kneeling human figures, as well as equestrian and zoomorphic/anthropomorphic sculptures. Djenne pieces tend to be naturalistic, while Bankoni sculptures tend to have elongated proportions. We know almost nothing about their culture, apart from their apparent sophistication. These cultures were obviously highly socially stratified. We find there signs of distinction and wealth such as scarification, jewellery, horses and prestige objects, and the sculptures themselves.
Lit.: Karl-Ferdinand Schaedler, Erde und Erz. 2500 Jahre Afrikanische Kunst aus Terrakotta und Metall, 1979, p. 62-69.
400 - 500,- Euro
Height: 44 cm Weight: 2,4 kg
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