A Tamil man from southeast India

The Field Museum

The Field Museum

American sculptor Malvina Hoffman particularly enjoyed capturing individuals in motion. In this life-size bronze, she portrayed a man she met in southern India. This man from Southern India demonstrated for Hoffman the climbing technique used to collect sap from palm trees to make wine. The two loops of rope help him to leverage his body quickly to the top, where he can collect the sap and carry it back down in the container tied to his body. This simple but creative technology allows for using a natural resource without destroying it.

Malvina Hoffman (1885-1966) created 104 bronze figures, busts, and heads for the 1933 exhibition The Races of Mankind. Each sculpture was meant to portray an activity or facial characteristics representative of a racial type. Fifty of the artworks are featured in The Field Museum's 2016 exhibition Looking at Ourselves: Rethinking the Sculptures of Malvina Hoffman.

Show lessRead more


  • Title: A Tamil man from southeast India
  • Type: Artefact
  • Contributor: John Weinstein : The Field Museum of Natural History
  • Rights: (c) Field Museum of Natural History - CC BY-NC


Translate with Google