Djenne Bronze Sculpture of a Man and a Horse - PF.5271
Origin: Central Mali
Circa: 12 th Century AD to 16 th Century AD
Dimensions: 3.75" (9.5cm) high x 4.5" (11.4cm) wide
Collection: African
Style: Djenne
Medium: Bronze


With knees bent the figure stands against a horse, while holding onto the bridle with the right hand and a large staff with the left. This unusal posture may be the sculptor's method of depicting more than one perspective, showing the person both riding and walking along side at the same time. Or, the figure may be a woman riding side-saddle. The gentleness of the individual's face, elongated head and softly modelled features, gives the entire sculpture a calm, pastoral feeling. Horses were rare and highly valuted possessions, owned only by wealthy chiefs and noblemen. However, this may be a donkey or mule, and therefore less prestigious, but not less useful. Holes at the base suggests items were hung from it such as tassels or other ornaments;while the loop at back made it possible for the object to be worn-- most likely by someone of importance. - (PF.5271)



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