230620 - Antique extremis Rare terracotta Bura sculpture - Nigeria


Antique Extremely Rare terracotta Bura sculpture - Nigeria
This sculpture are 33 cm in height. 

This Bura sculpture was collected in my private collection in 1989.

A terracotta Bura statue, the hands touching the belly next to the navel, ornaments pressed into the clay on the body, on the head and above the eyebrows, sickle-shaped ears, a large, bulging and slightly open mouth, a short nose that turns into directly in the eyebrows and large almost closed eyes with heavy eyelids, beautiful and very rare intact sculpture.The left ear has been broken off and repaired, see the photo.

Lit.: Karl-Ferdinand Schaedler, Erde und Erz. 2500 Jahre Afrikanische Kunst aus Terrakotta und Metall, 1979.

Africa-gallery is pleased to offer from his own private collection a rare terracotta sculpture from the Bura culture, Republic of Niger, West Africa. 

Discovered in an area northwest of Nigeria and dating from the 11-16th centuries, these sculpture are commonly called “Bura” figures, a reference to one of the three tribal groups living in the area today. 

The area of West Africa belonging to the Bura, Asinda and Sikka tribal groups lies along the Volta River, which separates the countries of Niger and present day Burkina Faso (formerly known as Upper Volta). The greater Volta area is a region of vast cultural, ethno-historical and archeological significance. 

The Bura appear to have been sedentary agriculturists who buried their dead in tall, conical urns, often surmounted by small figures. Their utilitarian vessels are usually plain, while other “containers” - the function of which is not understood - are often decorated with incised and stamped patterns. These are their best-known art form along with a group of radically reductivist anthropomorphic stone statues or markers, with heads rendered as squares, triangles and ovals, with the body suggested by columnar, monolithic shapes, some of which are also decorated with incised patterns. 

It shows wear consistent with an age of several hundred years, including cracks and chips that are a normal part of the patina. Importantly, it is an intact original piece.