Giriama Gravepost

Giriama Gravepost

Giriama Gravepost
Funeral post. Ancestor figure. Giriama. Kenya. No 105. XIV.I.12. Original list: "Giriama. Gravepost. Wood, kaolin. Man, woman". Heavy wooden monoxyle post (muhuhu?), Vaguely anthropomorphic, cut into three distinct sections: the head, the trunk then a sort of stake, shorter, delimited, in the lower part, by a bilateral notch - very typical of this kind of figures. The trunk is dotted with patterns in patterned triangles, hollowed out, then successively garnished with black or white material (kaolin, coral?); these triangles are assembled in straight or curved bands and sometimes arranged in circles in the center of the room (three circles). The round head has two almond-shaped eyes and a straight mouth signified by a simple groove. Memorial posts of this type were erected to accommodate and represent the spirit of the deceased. "The morturary poles, called Kigangu by the Giryama and other peoples between Malindi and the Tanzania border, are usually carved for an important male member of the tribe, but poles are also carved to commemorate female witch doctors" (Donovan. 2005 [1980] : 193). "The elders of the Giryama in Kenya (...) pass through monthes, or even years, of special ceremonies to learn the tribal secrets that entitle them to take part in the councils of the 'Kaya'. At death, a tribal elder is buried under a grass-roofed shrine, usually within his own home compound which contains a 'Kigangu'. A similar post is also placed in the Kaya so that fellow elders may invoke his memory. Should the family move from their home after the death of the elder, the original Kigangu is left behind, but a simplified replica may be carved and erected at their new location. This smaller replica is called 'Kibao' ". (Donovan. 2005 [1980]: 193). See Lagat, Hudson. 2006: 60-61 (dossier + bibliography) See "Kaya Fungo effigies"; "Giryama kigangu"; "Gyriama kibao and koma" in J. Adamson. 1967: 289; 293
Category (s) Sculpture / 3D work
Kigango vernacular; kibao; koma
Material (s) Wood. White clay (kaolin) [Wood. Kaolin clay]
Location (s) Kenya
Centimeter Size (s)
Length: 150
Width: 9.5
Height: 6

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Khan Key​

Stephane Brosset

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