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Giryama Funerary Memorial Post Vigango Kenya African Art 73 Inch

Product #: 105313
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Title Giryama Funerary Memorial Post Vigango Kenya African Art 73 Inch
Type of Object memorial post
Country of Origin Kenya
People Giriama or Giryama
Materials Wood, pigment
Approximate Age 20th century
Dimensions Height: 73 Inches
Width: 7.5 Inches
Depth: 2 Inches
Overall Condition Good. 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, worn pigments and general wear

 Additional Information: A grave marker post topped with a head with a schematic face and engraved motifs along the post to the front. Posts such as this are among the most known artistic production of the Giryama.  The Giryama live in Kenya and are one of the nine sub-groups within the ethnic group of Mijikenda. This example is made out of hard wood which resists exposure to the elements and insect damage.  It is painted with several layers of colorful pigments

Giriama carved posts show similarities with pieces from the Dinka, Bongo, and Konso. Vigango (kigango, singulier ) post were used as graveposts. They are sometimes used as shrine pieces and kept in a special house called Kijogo facing the East. 

Vigango funerary posts are usually males, because they represent the spirit of deceased members of the Gohu society. They could be large, medium, and small.  It is not clear if these figures were portraits of the decease. But it is said that these figure represent the spirit of deceased leaders, warriors and hunters or any other person member of Gohu society. Vigango were carved after the death of an individual and especially when a unhappy spirit of the death appears in a dream to some living relative.  These funeral posts were commissioned by the deceases' family sometimes after his death and presented during the second funeral ceremonies organized in order to make sure the deceased is welcome in the ancestor world.They embody the spirit of the decease . Thus they are commemorative sculptures that receive the spirit of the dead. 

 Recommended Reading:

Tom Phillips (ed.) Africa. The Art of a Continent, Prestel, Munich. London. New York. 1999, pp.144-145