Africa Direct
Africa Direct

6 Shona Pendants Carved Abstract Faces Zimbabwe

AvailabilityIn stock
Special Price $10.00 Regular Price $22.00
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Materials brown or black stone
Made In Zimbabwe
Traded In Africa
Approximate Age 20th century
Overall Condition Good. Some of our beads have traveled at least three continents, and have graced numerous owners. Small chips, corrosion, and pitting are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use.
Damage/Repair some minor scratches, some chips.
People Shona
Pendant Size 1.75 x 1 inches. See image with penny for size comparison (US penny is 19 mm diameter.)
Brand Unbranded
Style Abstract Face
Type Pendant
All Shona sculpture was made after 1965. Frank McEwan, an Englishman, who was director of the Rhodes National Gallery, began a school in 1956, and in 1965 encouraged the students, who had been painting, to move to stone. See Oliver Sultan's Life in Stone.

I have a huge collection of Shona pieces in rapocco, green and black serpentine, leopard rock, and verdite--some are four feet tall! In our extensive time in Zimbabwe, we saw an enormous amount of wonderful sculpture. We did the largest amount of our buying from a wonderful co-op of about forty artists.

My partner apprenticed with them, and learned to repair sculpture, which she has done for galleries, museums, and private collections. Instead of putting pieces in the fire, as they do in Zimbabwe, we use space heaters, hair dryers, and pots of boiling water. ~ Elizabeth

Shona sculpture is a form of African art that originates from Zimbabwe. It is named after the Shona people who are the largest ethnic group in Zimbabwe and have been creating these sculptures for centuries. Shona sculpture has gained international recognition for its unique aesthetic, which blends traditional African styles with modernist sensibilities.

The sculptures are usually made from a variety of stones, including serpentine and soapstone, and are carved using simple hand tools. The process of creating a sculpture can take anywhere from a few hours to several weeks, depending on the size and complexity of the piece. The finished sculptures often depict human figures or animals, and are characterized by their smooth, flowing lines and abstract forms.

The origins of Shona sculpture can be traced back to the 1950s, when a group of artists began experimenting with new styles and techniques. These artists were influenced by both traditional African art and modernist movements such as Cubism and Abstract Expressionism. They sought to create a new form of African art that would reflect the unique cultural identity of Zimbabwe.

Shona sculpture has had a significant impact on the world of contemporary art, and has been exhibited in galleries and museums around the world. It has also played an important role in the cultural identity of Zimbabwe, and has helped to preserve traditional African art forms for future generations.