|Title||Dan Female Figure On Stand Liberia African Art 28 Inch|
|Type of Object||Carving, Figure, Statue, Sculpture|
|Country of Origin||Liberia or Ivory Coast|
|Materials||wood, pigment, cloth|
|Approximate Age||20th Century|
|Overall Condition||Poor. Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners. Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use. We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings. Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.|
|Damage/Repair||Cracks and chips in places, wood flaws, bug damage|
Additional Information: This figure comes from the Dan people of north east Liberia or Ivory Coast. It depicts a standing female with arms at her side.
The Dan numbering about 350,000, live as farmers in small villages and towns in Northwest Liberia and eastern Ivory Coast. Sculpted female figures among the Dan or Yacuba are commissioned by wealthy or socially prominent men to represent their favored wife. Sometimes sculpted with a baby on their back the figures exemplify the ideas of fertility and continuity of the family. These figures are known as ‘lu me’ or wooden person and can be over 60 centimeters in height. They do not portray ancestors but are stylized portraits of real individuals closely representing the hairstyle, body markings, and physiognomy of the wife. These sculptures are superb examples of Dan sculpture and were often the work of well-known artists who worked in secret away from women and children as they carved the lu me figures. In some instances ‘lu me’ sculptures are made public to the village during a ceremony in which the man who commissioned the carving is recognized and gaining social prestige. These figures may also be kept in small houses and only publicly shown on special occasions.
E. Fischer and Hans Himmelheber; The Arts of the Dan in West Africa, (Zurich, 1984)