Exceptional pair of African wood carvings from the Nyamwezi tribes of Central Tanzania, the larger measuring 40 1/2" high, including stand, which is 6" x 6" square and about 1 1/2" high..
Both are carved of heavy dense wood, and the forms slightly vary due to the natural shape of the tree trunk or branch from which they were carved.
They have inset white bead eyes, which is typical, especially in early figures.
The elongated forms are striking, and they both have slightly bent knees, also typical of the art from this region, and much of African art. The round heads, carved ears, and long thin forms are also representative of the arts of this culture.
Both have slightly curved arms, and are clearly made by the same carver.
The Nyamwezi are primarily an agricultural tribe, and live in small village groups, with chiefs, and shamans as territorial leaders.
Like much of African culture, their art revolves around ancestral homage, protection, and spiritual divination.
These are early figures, 19th century, and the wood is dark, with a lovely glossy patina.
The male figure has an old crack, loss to one of the feet, visible in photos, and both have evidence of wear and handling.
Nyamwezi figures are not common in the market, and a pair such as these is very rare.
From an old collection of fine tribal arts.
Such fine and artful figures were very influential in the sculpture of many early 20th century artists, and these are very Giacometti or Modigliani in style.
Please see all photos for details, and email any questions. Additional photos are available.
They are sold as a pair, they are not sold separately.