Medium: One of a Kind Hand Carved Ebony Wood - Made out of one piece of wood
Height: 9 inches, 23 centimeters
Length: 4 inches, 10 centimeters
Region: Kenya, East Africa
Tribe: Masaai Tribe
Approximate Age: 34 years (1988)
Availability: In Stock, Available to Ship Immediately
Item Number: S061
Markings: Artist’s Signature
Provenance Report: "Masaai Man"
Tear Sheet: Available Upon Request
Condition: Excellent; Not previously owned; Undamaged
Sourcing: Fair Trade
Certificate of Authenticity Provided
The Maasai Tribe is an indigenous group of semi-nomadic people in Kenya and northern Tanzania. Due to their distinctive customs, dress, and residence near the many national game parks and reserves of East Africa, they are among the most well-known tribes—a near constant presence. The Masaai are strongly convicted in their belief that family is above all, and much of Masaai art depicts family members physically and emotionally supporting one another.
Ebony wood is one of the most valuable, rare, and expensive types of wood in the world; prized for its dark core. Ebony trees (Diospyros) are generally small and slow growing. The Greek name for ebony is Diospyros meaning 'fruit of the gods' and this wood is famous for its dark beauty and opulence. Because of its high density, texture, and waxiness, it is ideal for the production of fine artwork.
Currently, worldwide demand for ebony wood is at an all-time high while supply is an all all-time low. A factor that influences rarity is darkness: the darker the color of the ebony, the more valuable it is. Today, artworks from light brown-brown ebony trees (harvested at 50 years old) are being produced. However, darker woods, also known as “pure ebony” (that look black at first glance) have become increasingly hard for collectors to acquire. York’s Shona Gallery is one of the only African galleries with such dark ebony in the United States.
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