|Title||Sukuma Male Statue Tanzania African Art 38 Inch|
|Type of Object||Carving, Figure, Statue, Sculpture|
|Country of Origin||Tanzania|
|Materials||Wood, pigments, sheet metal and metal nails (unknown metal content)|
|Approximate Age||mid 20th century|
|Dimensions||Height: 34.5 Inches
Width: 8 Inches
stands 38.5 inches tall on base; base is 9.5 x 6.5 inches
|Damage/Repair||damaged surfaces (bugs?), cracks, sheet metal repair on left hip. tarnished metal|
Additional Information: An excellent carving from Tanzania, the facial features of the man are consistent with the style of the Sukuma. Slender body with minimal features and the leaning pose give the carving a charming character. The head is decorated with strips of silver sheet metal. The surface has several damaged areas, possibly from grubs or bugs. And one piece is covered in a metal repair. Eqiupped with and attached to a custom base, this statue is ready for display in private or public collection.
Carved figures such as this from Tanzania pose problems of identity and must be generally assigned to a number of different people including the Pare, Chaga, Kwere or Chamba/ Shamba. It must be remembered that this area of Africa does not have the great variety or numbers of sculpture and masks as found in West Africa. Though the ethnic diversity in the region is complex that they often share sculptural styles and forms. It is also the case that they have been not well studied to fully define the use and function of sculptures and masks among East African groups. Figures such as this are used during initiations and by traditional practitioners of healing rituals. They also are said to be commemorate an ancestor.
Tanzanian tribal art is less researched and published than Western and Central art. There are still superb pieces coming out of rural areas. The best resource on Tanzanian art is Marc Felix's MWANA HITI.