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    Artist Name:

    Djenne Artist, Mali


    Male Figure


    Thirteenth–fifteenth century




    21 3/4 × 10 × 8 inches

    Credit Line:

    Purchase with funds from the Fred and Rita Richman Special Initiatives Endowment Fund for African Art

    Accession Number:


    On View - Wieland Pavilion, Lower Level, Gallery 102
    This powerfully expressive, elegant figure, with its face tilted toward the heavens, comes from the region of the ancient city of Djenne, in Mali, West Africa. Djenne is considered the most ancient city in sub-Saharan Africa, founded more than 2,000 years ago. Today the entire city, which includes the Great Mosque, whose foundations date to the thirteenth century, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. This sculpture is closely related to a set of large, stylistically similar terracotta figures. Now a fragment, it may once have consisted of a full figure, seated and kneeling in prayer or riding a horse. As evidenced by thermoluminescence tests completed in 1988, it was created between ca. 1300 and 1500, when the medieval Empire of Mali encompassed much of what is now West Africa, from Mali to the coast of Senegal. Both this sculpture and the Great Mosque are made of earth—red, like Georgia’s soil.

    Reproduction of digital images, including downloading, is governed by copyright laws and international conventions. Please contact the Images and Rights Coordinator for information concerning permissions or to request digital photography of works in the High's collection.

    Please Note: Not all permanent collection works are currently on view. Please contact the Museum concerning the on view status for a specific work if required.

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