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Baule, Yaure, Attie,
Democratic Republic of Congo
34. Yoruba equestrian, Nigeria, wood, 12 1/4" (30.8 cm)|
This small equestrian shrine figure was an object of prestige, denoting the power and status for the king or noble for whom it was made. The emblem of royal authority here is the royal fly whisk, worn over the shoulder. Beyond this, however, is the sculptorís marvelous ability to evoke the spiritual side of power- wisdom and humility. The horsemanís head, which is the most important element in the statue as it is the home of the soul and seat of wisdom, is as large as the horse, giving a sense of relative importance and also beautiful sculptural realisation. Note also the heavily lidded and downcaste eyes, showing the humility necessary for a person to continue to grow and acquire wisdom in life.
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