Guro Maternity Figure

Figures such as this would be carved to ensure protection for the baby from illness and to help promote wellbeing.

Tribe: Guro

Origin: Ivory Coast

Approx Age: Mid – Later 20th Century

Materials: Wood

Dimensions cm: Stands 61 tall

Ref. Number: 0858

SOLD

Description:

Beautiful and rare Guro Maternity Figure with a stunning symmetry. This wonderful figure comes from the village of Zenoula south west of the Ivory Coast. Previous to having a stand this lovely maternity figure will have spent some of its life simply lying down on its back which is shown by the very visible wear marks to the back of the figure. Usual and very typical satisfactions to its face, neck, shoulders and around the waist. Sadly it has lost part of one foot and total loss of the other due to old insect invasion ? Lovely styled infant to the rear of the figure with partially encrusted patina over the whole figure. A figure such as this would be made for the purpose of ensuring protection for the baby from things such as illness and to help promote wellbeing.

History

Guro, also spelled Gouro, also called Kweni, people of the Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), in the valley regions of the Bandama River; they speak a language of the Mande branch of the Niger-Congo family of African languages. The Guro came originally from the north and northwest, driven by Mande invasions in the second half of the 18th century.Although formerly the major male occupation was hunting, the Guro are now basically agriculturists whose subsistence crops include plantains, rice, and yams; their cash crops include coffee, cocoa, and cotton. They practice shifting cultivation, men clearing the fields and women doing most of the other work. Some of their communal fields were being replaced by industrial plantations in the late 20th century. In the southern part of the Guro people’s territory, arboriculture includes palm-wine extraction; in the north, kola oil and nuts are traded for dried fish from the Niger. The exchange of subsistence goods at markets is usually carried out by women; other items are traded by men.

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