Bura, Western Niger, 1100-1400 AD (TL tested)
Height : 16 cm
Provenance : Collection Lussier, Montréal
The Bura culture originating from the Niwas first discovered in 1975 to the northwest of Niamey, the capital of the state of Niger, and in neighbouring Burkina Faso.
The hollowed clay anthropomorphic heads of the ancient and medieval Bura culture are known for their distinctive abstraction and simplicity, and this stunning solid example is without any doubt the most beautiful Bura sculpture in existence. With its rounded forehead and minimalistic features reduced to the essential, it instantly reminds the cylcadic heads from Anatolia, or the reliquary heads from the Fang... Almost a millenium earlier !
Most Bura terracottas are hollowed and rather crude, but this magnificient solid example com- bines all the opposite attributes : elegance and perfection of the shape, beauty of the surface -smooth and finely craqueled-, sophistication of the hair design, irradiating in thin rays from the back of the head, and an exceptional state of preservation, without any restoration.