Colonial Figures - Southeast Africa

This pair of seated male figures, carved of light-hued wood and treated with pokerwork details, depicts two colonial administrators. With the advent of colonization, African carvers began to work European subjects into their repertoires, and in time a tradition of depictions of Western officers such as these took shape. Carved in a certain spirit of candor, these two figures display the contemporary fashions of European officials and, with their attributes of conspicuous self-indulgence, provide some insight into how they were perceived through indigenous eyes.

Attributed to the carver who worked in Senor Joao Bello's garden in Lourenco Marques, Mozambique.


Wood, pokerwork
Late 19th or early 20th century
H: 10 1/2" W: 3"
Private German collection
#141
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