Lot: 118

91 Tribal Art Auction

Male head sculpture "mma"

Côte d'Ivoire, Agni / Sanwi, Krinjabo area

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
Marcel Lheureux, France
Helena Rubinstein (1870-1965), Paris / New York, USA
Parke-Bernett Galleries, New York, 2nd Session: 29 April 1966, lot 141 (not illustrated)
H: 7.1 inch 4000 EUR
plus 27 % commission, VAT, transport and insurance

ceramic / terracotta, coating with black plant extract visible in places, rest., base
This head probably originates from the Krinjabo area. Krinjabo was once the capital of the ancient kingdom of Sanwi, founded in 1740 by members of the Agni tribe from Ghana. Today, the Krinjabo/Sanwi area is an important archaeological site where important objects can be found.

The memorial heads served as receptacle for the fleshless soul of divine ancestors. They were not positioned on the grave, but placed either in a sacred grove close to the cemetery or in a shrine or stool room where libations and sacrifices were occasionally offered and rituals were performed.