About this artwork
Little is known about the meaning and function of the terracotta figures discovered in various sites around the abandoned city of Jenné-Jeno in modern Mali. Archaeological excavations revealed that figures like this partial example were set into the walls and foundations of buildings, suggesting they served a religious purpose. The loincloth and stack of bracelets on this figure indicated high social rank. The snakes wrapping around his torso are common in the iconography of the Inland Niger Delta and undoubtedly had symbolic significance.
Currently Off View
- Arts of Africa
- Niger Delta
- Fragment of a Kneeling Figure
- 47.6 × 23.5 × 30.5 cm (18 3/4 × 9 1/4 × 12 in.)
- Maurice D. Galleher, Ada Turnbull Hertle, and Laura R. Magnuson funds