SALE END DATE AND TIME
July 31, 2016 : SALE CLOSED
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|Holo, Democratic Republic of Congo|
There is very little known about this object, beyond that it is exceptionally rare and dates to the 19th century, and is thought to have once been the superstructure on a sacred staff from the Holo. It shows evidence throughout of the application of sacred applied organic shrine materials, which would support this theory. The piece is absolutely precious and has features which move us, including beautiful reddish patina, applied shrine materials, old nails, areas of indigenous restoration to maintain the integrity of the piece, and cubist geometric design at the base of the structure. Collectors of tribal art and more generally should be advised that this is a very rare and collectible piece. The following is reference @ “Art & Life in Africa”, hosted by the University of Iowa Museum of Art (UIMA) by Christopher Roy; in which the Holo are referred to as “Holoholo”:
The confluence of ethnic groups that resulted in Holoholo identity is reflected in their art, which incorporates many diverse styles. Elements of Luba and Tabwa styles are both apparent. A few figures attributed to the "master of slit eyes" represent the best-known Holoholo art objects in museum collections.
Holoholo are descended from the Baguha peoples who escaped from southwest Democratic Republic of the Congo amidst Luba expansionism during the 18th century. In the 1880s the water level of Lake Tanganyika dropped significantly, inviting members of various ethnic groups to move into the area surrounding the town of Kalemie. The settlement that developed led to the emergence of the Holoholo. Their position on the lake placed them along Arab and eastern African slave trade routes. This allowed some financial gain during the late 1800s, but when the Europeans came, they expelled the Arabs and stymied Holoholo economic growth. The area has since been largely depopulated as a result of disease and regional warfare.
Holoholo economy during the height of late 19th century expansion was directly related to the eastern African slave trade. The Holoholo were employed by the Arabs to guard the lakeside ports and warehouses where gold and ivory were stored to await shipment across the lake. Today the region is primarily agricultural. Men and women work together to grow sorghum, maize, peanuts, and beans for local consumption. The sorghum is used to brew large quantities of local beer. Net fishing is also carried out on the lake. Fish are dried and sold in local markets to generate minimal cash flow in the region.
The Holoholo never existed as a discrete ethnic group and as a result did not acknowledge allegiance to one particular political power. They were a small conglomeration of diverse peoples who shared a common language used primarily to expedite regional trading. Individual villages and families usually recognized a local leader, and theirs was an abbreviated feudal system. Very little political structure remains in the region today that is reflective of the Holoholo influence.
The supreme god is Kabedya Mpungu ("remote in the sky"), and appeals are never made directly to him. Local religious practices center around ancestor worship carried out through offerings made to miniature huts, which are said to house the souls of the muki (spirits). Nature spirits that inhabit rocks, water, and mountains are not appeased by the general population, but their services may be called upon by witch doctors. Two secret societies exist for healers and witch doctors, one each for men and women. Secrecy and witchcraft accusations act as powerful social controls. Poison ordeals were employed to determine whether an accused was actually guilty of witchcraft.
Age and Provenance:
This figure dates to the 19th century. The patina shows extensive age, and the softened edges of both the figure and the geometric patterning within the square structure upon which the figure is perched show extensive age and handling. It takes an extraordinary amount of time for this type of natural aging to occur.
|Lot ID: 33|
|Low Estimate: $7,000|
|High Estimate: $12,000|
|Next Bid: $3,750|
|Sale ID: 6|
|Sale Date: July 28, 2016|
|Sale Location: Virtual Auction|
|Sale Sponsor: African Artworks from Berz Gallery of African Art|
|Sale Terms: View here|
|Live Bidding Link: SALE CLOSED|
|Location of Origin: Africa|
|Medium/Materials: wood (one piece), stain, nails, applied organic materials|
|Dimensions: 5.7" (14.5cm) height x 5.7" (14.5 cm) width|
|Primary Classification: African Artwork, Ethnographic & Tribal Arts : African Art : Country - Democratic Republic of Congo|
|Secondary Classification: African Artwork, Ethnographic & Tribal Arts : African Art : Object Type - Statue|
|Further expertise and reading: Artur P. Bourgeois. 1984. Art of the Yaka and Suku. Alain et Françoise Chaffin, éditeurs. France. -François Neyt. 1982. L’art Holo du Haut-Kwango. Fred Jahn München.-François Neyt. 1984. Les sculptures miniatures du Zaïre. Fred Jahn München. -J.Kerchache, J.L.Paudrat, L.Stephan. 1988. L’Art Africain. Ed.Mazenod. France. -Tresors d’Afrique. Musee de Tervuren, 1995. -Frans M. Olbrechts 1899-1958 in search of art in Africa. Antwerp Ethnographic Museum, 2001. La Gamma, A. “Art and Oracle, African Art and Rituals of Divination”, Metropolitan Museum of Art Press|
|Provenance: Ex. Pierre Dartevelle, Brussels; Ex. Galeria David Serra, Spain|
Exhibition History: Vetted as authentic and exhibited Parcours des mondes, Paris, 2015, Galeria David Serra
Published: Catalogue Galeria David Serra "Imaginaire Animal", 2015
|Price:||Price on Request|
|Offered By:||CLOSED: African Artworks : 146 Lots : July 28-30|
|Contact:||The Curator's Eye|
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