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Dimensions: L:24in W:16.9in D:12.6in
Shona sculptor handcrafted this sculpture of a Shona Princess from locally sourced fruit serpentine stone. Shona sculpture is a distinct form of art that owes its existence to millennia of African history and cultural beliefs. Each piece is meticulously handcrafted by craftsmen and has gone from Africa around the world to add a distinctive touch to any house or business.
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
Fruit serpentine is a colorful and harder variety of serpentine stone. The stone comes in a variety of colors with deep veins of variegated strata, and no two stones are comparable due to the distinctive pattern of mineral inclusions with each stone. Serpentine stones, which formed around 2.6 billion years ago, contain quartz, chromium, manganese, copper, and iron minerals. The stone is hand-mined in the Kwekwe area, south-west of Harare, and is labor-intensive, time-consuming, and costly. So, for these very practical reasons, fruit serpentine sculptures are rare since it is so difficult for artists to obtain, but its fine finish, durability and hardness make it desirable for artists.
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