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Female Figure

Zlan of Belewale

Date:
before 1960
Geography:
Liberia
Culture:
Dan peoples
Medium:
Wood, fiber, pigment, cloth, metal
Dimensions:
H. 23 x W. 5 1/2 x D. 5 in. (58.4 x 14 x 12.7 cm)
Classification:
Wood-Sculpture
Credit Line:
The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Purchase, Nelson A. Rockefeller Gift, 1964
Accession Number:
1978.412.499
  • Description

    In Dan society, sculptures of women are prestige objects that reflect positively both on their owners' and their subjects' reputations. Among the most costly of Dan expressive forms, they are commissioned by men to honor an especially esteemed wife. The sculptures are conceived of as portraits of the women they depict, although this and other examples suggest an overarching emphasis on established Dan ideals of feminine beauty. This figure is attributed to the sculptor Zlan (d. 1960), who is known for elegantly modeled features and finely carved details such as this woman's elaborate scarification.

  • Provenance

    [Henri Kamer, Paris and New York, until 1964]; The Museum of Primitive Art, New York, 1964–1978

  • See also
    Who
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
310960

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