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Dimensions: L:15.7in W:6.7in D:5.1in
A Shona artist sculpted a butter jade chief head into this one-of-a-kind stone sculpture. Zimbabwe is well-known for its stone sculpture all around the world. This expressive genre of art has exploded in popularity since 1980. Since it was first introduced in 1956 by Frank McEwen, then-Director of the National Gallery of Rhodesia, a lot of development has been accomplished. Despite the country's hardships, artistically gifted young artists have perfected the skill while simultaneously supporting their families by playing with stone and creating masterpieces.
About the Tribe
The Shona ethnic group is indigenous to Southern Africa, primarily Zimbabwe, but there are significant Shona populations in South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, and Mozambique. In Zimbabwe, the Shona people make up most of the population. Stone sculpture and mbira music have made them famous around the world (mbira: an instrument made of a hollow gourd with metal reeds that the player plucks). This tribe is believed to be responsible for the construction of several ancient stone wall sites in Zimbabwe. Great Zimbabwe, an 800-hectare city that flourished between the 11th and 15th centuries AD, was built on the physical foundation of these walls. Great Zimbabwe, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site was a center for trade, and archaeologists have discovered artifacts on site from as far away as China.
About the Stone
Butter Jade, also known as African Jade, ancient stone rarely found anywhere else in the world but in the Southern Africa's greenstone region. It is estimated to be around 50 million years old. This semi-precious stone has a creamy yellow color with dark striations. However, it is not as soft as butter and is a hard, durable stone. It is not pure Jade, despite the name, yet it bears the name due to similarities in finish and hardness. Butter jade got its distinctive darker streaks and lines from layers of fossilized algae that formed as the rock formed. This rock's unique coloring and pattern makes it a desirable material for sculpting, as the natural variation within it adds beauty and complexity to any design.
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