Djenne Bronze Sculpture of a Seated Woman - PF.5270
Origin: Central Mali
Circa: 12 th Century AD to 14 th Century AD
Dimensions: 3.25" (8.3cm) high x 1.25" (3.2cm) wide
Collection: African
Style: Djenne
Medium: Bronze

Djenne’s wealth came from being situated at the crossroads of caravans moving south across the Sahara. As an important commercial city, there was a thriving trade in prestigious items for ornamentation or ritual purposes. This exceptional seated female may fall into both categories. She is naked, her legs extended with hands resting comfortably on the knees, hair cascading down her back in segmented braids. Her headdress is composed of large concentric circles, which blend beautifully with her long braid. The sagging breasts suggest she may be a distinguished village elder, or herbalist/healer. Her dignified expression, with elongated face and coffee-bean eyes, indicates she is possibly an ancestral figure. The base she sits upon may have been designed to fit into the top of a staff. Being in the presence of this diminutive figure brings us into direct contact with a once powerful and now vanished people. - (PF.5270)




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