|Dimensions||16.7 × 11 cm|
power and spiritual role
While each African nation has its own worship and rituals, the practice of handling objects is common to all. In contrast to the respectful distance usually accorded to Western sacrificial objects, African sculptures, masks and ritual objects are believed to be imbued with sanctity during the ceremony or ritual in which they were made, after which the sanctity is lost.
So African artworks carry their traces. When they accomplish their ritual purpose, they are usually given a patina, which may be damaged and sometimes repaired. Evidence that really deals with ritual purpose is a value criterion that is more important than provenance, and significantly enhances African sculpture.
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