Though this naturalistic sculpture is a portrait, her specific characteristics and proportions adhere to the canons of traditional Dan carvings representing beloved wives. Her sensual, smooth skin and spry demeanor suggest she is a younger woman. Filed teeth are made of bronze and were carefully inserted into the mouth, possibly to imitate the dentition of the actual female portrayed. This type of naturalistic figure was never used for ancestor worship. Instead, they were used as display objects presented during important occasions in the village. It is evident a great deal of care and attention was given to these posthumous figures throughout the year attested by their shiny patinas and well-preserved, fiber coiffures. Ironically, it was the women of the village who cared for these figures, not the men. A delicate, iron, bell anklet has been placed around the figure's left ankle, further personalizing the sculpture. This example stands 16"H x 5.25"W, excluding the custom wood base. A small section of the upper lip had been broken in the past and glued back-in-place with no loss. The figure's pierced right ear has some old damage, as does the left, and small losses, splits, abrasions, and scratches are visible to the glossy surface, a result of age and use. Early 20th century. Provenance: Leonard Kahan Gallery, NYC, 1980's. A lively and dynamic example of Dan figurative carving.