African Colonial Figure Barrister
Get the Colonial era for your home with this stunning
African Colonial Figure Barrister from Cote d’Ivoire.
(“colon” is the French noun for a colonist), are a genre of wooden figurative sculpture
within African art that originated during the colonial period.
The statues commonly depict European colonial officials such as civil servants,
doctors, soldiers or technicians or Europeanised middle-class Africans.
They are often characterised by recurrent decorative motifs, such as
pith helmets, suits, official uniforms or tobacco pipes, and are
painted in bright or glossy colours with vegetable-based paints.
As a genre
colon statues originated in West Africa, apparently among the
Baoulé in Ivory Coast. It achieved international popularity after
World War II and after decolonisation. It has been argued that
the genre originated as an African response to colonisation and
the repression at the hands of the colonial state. It is debated
whether the statues were originally seen as satirical caricatures
of colonial officials or simply depictions of new subjects in local styles.
Whether the original statues were intended to be purely ornamental
or also served a ritual function is also unknown.
It’s interesting to note that the men either
wear pith helmets (normally hand-carved by Christians)
or Fez hats (mostly carved by Muslims.)
These colonial figures are more striking in pairs or groups of 3 or more.
as this item is a handmade piece of
craft it bears the markings of human endeavor.
This is the charm of the art and as such there are
no two the same, each and every one is unique.