Mega Rare Museum Piece Antique African Cast Bronze Chamba Dancer sculpture

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Seller: tribalvirtu (912) 100%, Location: Mount Arlington, New Jersey, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 173373767639 From the old private collection of the internationally celebrated artist and ardent Africanist.This is a rare, museum quality authentic artifact (circa late 1700s) . The item is about 12" high in excellent antique condition. This extraordinary well preserved Bronze exhibits a virtuosity and sophistication of style that has astonished the Western world since they were visited in the 15th century. Chamba figures are extremely rare and their function uncertain. They often have a rich patina and a highly sculptural form. They share some common features with masks of the neighbouring Mumuye. One type of Chamba figure is thought to be a medium for communication with the spirit world. Small figures were used to cure or protect an individual from snake bites and were attached to iron spikes and inserted into the ground. There is originality in the way the arms are joined to the shoulders: the wide hands separated from the body are sometimes united by a base that cuts through the thighs, the feet reappearing below it. The geometric facial features contribute to an impression of power. Other powerful objects owned by Chamba clan organizations, are linked to their secret knowledge of remedies for illnesses and misfortunes. Among these highly charged works may be ceramics, bronze figurines, and musical instruments. All are kept hidden in a bundle or under a large pot. The unseen presence of this sacred material transforms the pot or bundle into an altar, a place of contact between natural and supernatural worlds. The Chamba use a type of mask that symbolizes a bush spirit. Some of the masks are flat-faced and some of the masks have a rounded head with a flattened open mouth and two large backward-sloping horns. From the helmet a muzzle projects forward and horns project backward in a single horizontal plane. The hemispherical dome of the Chamba mask is related to death, for it is said to be like a skull, an ancestral relic taken from the grave of an elder. Other features are related to the wilderness: the open jaws are the jaws of the crocodile, the horns are those of the forest buffalo. The wearer looks through an opening between the two jaws. The mask is linked to dangerous forces. These masks are either female (painted black) or male (painted red). The female mask is often explained as a reminder of their origin. According to the story, a young buffalo/beautiful girl removed its animal skin to take a bath. A passerby saw her, hid the skin, and married the girl. These masks perform at rites of passage: circumcision, chiefs' installations, and diverse funerals. They express the powers and dangers of the bush, where they are stored and from which dancers come, as well as the conjunction of these powers with the spirits of the dead. The Chamba, whose number today is estimated at 20,000, live south of the Benue River. They are socially divided into small centralized kingdoms, each headed by a king assisted by a council of elders whose powers are regulated by male and female secret societies. The Chamba kings are also assisted by royal women who serve as queens. After circumcision, young boys received an initiation that included the teaching of secrets. Each clan kept the skulls of ancestors, who were responsible for the prosperity and fertility of the lineage. Besides celebrating the ancestors, the vara cult celebrated the tutelary spirit, a personification of the first mala, or the paternal aunt of the chief. At the time of the masked celebration, she appeared in public, as well as at the funerals of members of the lineage; she would dress in the guise of a masked man in a fiber costume. The basic method of lost-wax casting has been widely practiced on the African continent for centuries. While it is difficult to establish how the method was developed or introduced to the region, it is clear that West African sculptors were casting brass with this method for several hundred years prior to the arrival of the first Portuguese explorers along the coast in 1484. The technique requires a great deal of skill, involving extensive knowledge of both pottery and metalworking, and a careful attention to changing temperatures to prevent unwanted cracking or other damage to either the clay mold or to the metal sculpture during the casting process. Some of the earliest and most accomplished bronze works found in Africa date to the tenth century and are from a site called Igbo-Ukwu. Africa has a history of art that is unmatched anywhere else in the world. The art forms found on the African continent are as diverse as the African people themselves. Numerous tribes and groups from all over the continent contributed to African art history with unique works of art. Despite this diversity, there are some prominent themes that appear in much of African art throughout history. These themes are: With few exceptions most early sub-Saharan African artworks did not survive to modern day due to the materials they were made out of. Artworks made of wood, leather, plant fibers, and other perishable materials eventually wore out. Archaeologists and historians are working at piecing together sub-Saharan African art history. Most of the continent is still unexplored archaeologically. It is hoped that new discoveries will help in this endeavor. For now there is only sparse information available. Some of the more important information and discoveries are explained below. Sao African Art History Archaeologist have discovered bronze pottery and ornaments made by the Sao people whose civilization flourished south of Lake Chad from the sixth century BC to the sixteenth century. Over fifteen thousand pottery finds from the early civilization have been made. Nok African Art History The oldest figurative sculptures discovered south of the Sahara were found in Nigeria and include sculptures of heads, figures, and animals. These works of art were made by a culture called the Nok people who thrived from 500 BC to approximately 200 AD. Ife African Art History Another ancient culture that lived in modern day Nigeria, called the Ife, made beautiful pieces of art. Their culture produced this art sometime prior to 1200 AD. Their art was more stylized than their Nok predecessors. Nine bronze sculptures produced by the Ife were found on the small island of Jebba along the Niger river Bronze African Art Found in Igbo-Ukwu Many bronze objects were unearthed in the village of Igbo-Ukwu in southeastern Nigeria which date back to the 10th century or earlier. Many of these objects were used in ceremonies and for a burial. Benin African Art History The kingdom of Benin existed in the South region of Nigeria from approximately 1440 AD to 1897 AD. These African people made beautiful artworks out of bronze, brass, clay, wood, and terracotta. Their art included figurines, animal heads, plaques, and busts. Owo African Art History The town of Owo in Nigeria was the capital of a Yoruba city-state from approximately 1400 AD to 1600 AD. Historians and archaeologist have discovered terracotta sculptures here, some dating back to the 15th century. Mali African Art History The Mali region , also called the inner Niger delta, has been populated for centuries. Numerous archaeological sites have been discovered that have yielded many pottery sculptures that were produced between the 12th and 16th century. Many of the pottery is human or animal figurines molded in clay. Due to the antique/vintage nature of our items, we encourage our buyers to carefully read the description and measurements of the item to avoid any disappointments ,there might be some slight imperfections, most likely they will show flaws consistent with ware, ages, and use which only add character and charm to the items. Each item is described and photographed as accurately as possible. If you have any question about any particular item, please contact me before you purchase, We are more than happy and willing to answer any questions you may have. International Buyers – Please Note: Import duties, taxes, and charges are not included in the item price or shipping cost. These charges are the buyer's responsibility. Please check with your country's customs office to determine what these additional costs will be prior to bidding or buying. Condition: Excellent Antique Condition, Color: Brown, Material: Bronze, Original/Reproduction: Original, Tribe: Chamba

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