Bird – (2316)
[2316]

Small Fon bronze depicting a bird. Was it the intention of the artist to create a stork with its long legs? Storks do winter in Africa so this may well be possible. There is an attachment peg under one of its feet and it once formed part of an iron ‘Asen’ altar which has disintegrated long ago. These altars served as monuments to the dead for the Fon people. Placed in family shrines, such altars became the focus of interaction with the ancestors. Very often human altar figures were flanked by animals just like this bird or cherished objects. The bronze dates from early 20th century. Ouidah Fon culture. Benin. West Africa. Size including wooden stand. Height 6.8 cm. Width 4 cm. Depth 5.5 cm.
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