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This majestic, mounted figure is one of the oldest objects in the African collection. The idealized image of a man in the prime of life, bearded, armed and on horseback, may have served as a commemorative or devotional image of an illustrious ancestor. The wealth of ornamentation adorning horse and rider, and the prestige assigned by Djenne culture to horse ownership indicate this person's elevated status. Archaeologists believe ancestral figures played a vital role as symbols of lineage or ethnic identity in the culturally diverse, medieval trade center of Jenné-Jeno.

Details

  • Title: Equestrian Figure
  • Date Created: 12th century - 16th century
  • Physical Dimensions: w279.4 x h533.4 x d152.4 in
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Rights: Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust through the George H. and Elizabeth O. Davis Fund and the generosity of Shirley and Barnett Helzberg, Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust through the George H. and Elizabeth O. Davis Fund and the generosity of Shirley and Barnett Helzberg
  • Medium: Earthenware and pigment
  • Culture: Djenne

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