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Verdite Shona Stone LIPS Zimbabwe 11 Inch African Art

Regular Price: $150.00

Special Price: $87.00

Product #: 86286
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Title Verdite Shona Stone LIPS Zimbabwe 11 Inch African Art
Type of Object Stone figure
Country of Origin Zimbabwe
People Shona
Materials Verdite
Approximate Age Contemporary
Dimensions 11 inches H. x 7 inches W. ; 13 lbs
Overall Condition Very Good

 Additional Information:  Verdite, sometimes called "Africa's green gold," is found only in southern Africa. Deposits near Barberton, South Africa, are believed to be about 3.5 million years old. It is used in African traditional medicine, particularly to cure impotence and increase fertility. Its hardness is 7.0-9.0, and it is becoming increasingly rare, especially in the green color (brown is more common) so only the better sculptors attempt it.

Shona sculpture began int he 1950s, when Frank McEwan, a British art critic, became the director of the Rhodesian National Museum, which contained only western art. He established an art school for local people, and after the first year's concentration on painting, determined to make use of the copious amounts of native stone. Zimbabwe had a tradition of stone carving going back to The Great Zimbabwe, but modern art forms did not emerge until McEwan established his workshops. 

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 sixty 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.

For more information on the Shona sculptors of Zimbabwe, see "ZIMBABWE HERITAGE, CONTEMPORARY VISUAL ARTS."