This is Why I love Tribal Art: A Clay Bura Head

From time to time, I will post examples of “tribal art” of different cultures which I think are artistically and cultural compelling. This is the third installment in the series.

Bura head, Western Niger, 1100 – 1400 AD. Terracota. Height: 16 cm. Private collection.

The Bura culture of Africa was first discovered in 1975 northwest of Niamey, the capital of the state of Niger and in neighbouring Burkina Faso. The clay anthropomorphic heads of the medieval Bura culture are known for their distinctive abstraction and simplicity. This example is certainly one of the most beautiful. Its rounded forehead and minimalist features bear a striking resemblance to the cycladic heads from Anatolia which are more a thousand years older!

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