Ivorian Wooden Sculpture of a Man

SKU PF.4776

19 Century AD to 20th Century AD


47.5″ (120.7cm) high




Ivory Coast

Gallery Location

S Korea


Placed at the entrance of a village, this imposing figure was intended to ward off evil spirits. The statue is in fact beautifully proportioned; with a bulging forehead, long neck, broad shoulders and enormous stomach, combined to project a force that is very effective. The protruding stomach is balanced by the extended mouth, each with radiating white lines (like waves of energy), indicating scarification. In a region where food can be scarce, corpulence is not only a sign of wealth, but also of the person being in favor with the spirit world. The powerful form of the mouth gives the impression of a great primordial wind, capable of blowing away any spirit intruders. This extraordinary statue epitomizes the universal human drive to combat the evil forces that endanger our survival.

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