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Description of Significance:
Mvuu (the Hippopotamus) the Shona say that when God created the hippo, the animal was so embarrassed by his size and visage that he asked God if he could hide in the water all day so not to be seen by other animals. God agrees on one condition - the hippo could not eat any of his fish. So, the hippo remained in the water all day long and surfaced on the riverbanks only by night. To prove to God that he has not eaten any fish, he rapidly wags his tail to spread his spoor over the ground so God can see there are no fish bones.
Country of Origin:
- Hand carved in Zimbabwe
Dimensions (in inches):
- Depth: 12"
- Width: 9"
- Height: 13"
Type of Stone:
- Green Opal
- Green Opal is sourced in the mines north of the Zimbabwean capital of Harare. After polishing, it becomes a deep beautiful green. It is favored by many Shona artists as it is not as hard as Springstone but it still polishes to a high shine. The first Green Opal mines were not found until 1989.
- This piece can be displayed outside as weather will not harm the stone. Shona sculpture is the perfect addition to any garden design!
About Shona Sculpture:
Stone sculpture in Zimbabwe, dating from 1956 until today, is the best-known manifestation of African contemporary art. Northern Zimbabwe has uniquely large amounts of carvable stone. The stone was so important to the people that the name ‘Shona’ is derived from a word in their native language that means ‘house of stone.’ There is no technical artistic training in Shona sculpture. Sculpting skills are passed down through families and the large and hard stones are carved with only a hammer and chisel. Hemingway Gallery purchases this sculpture directly from the Shona artists in Zimbabwe and has imported the monumental stone artwork since the early 1980s. These fine modern sculptures are unparalleled in both carving skill and design. Hemingway holds long-standing relationships with artists like Bywell Sango, Sylvester Mubayi, Witness Bonjisi and many more.
Click the Shona Sculpture tab below for further information!
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- Delivery in the New York area is available via truck.
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Our pricing correlates directly to the asking prices of artists in Zimbabwe and the costs of importing their artwork to the U.S. We need to change the idea that artists should be paid pennies for their fine art just because it comes from Africa. Paying a fair price to our artists is our number one priority and our pricing reflects that.
Please email us at email@example.com or call 212-838-3650 with the SKU # for further information on this piece.
Shona Sculpture from Zimbabwe is one of the main focuses of Hemingway Gallery, which was the first gallery to import the monumental stone sculpture to the United States. Brian Gaisford grew up with the Shona artists in Zimbabwe before 1975. Zimbabwe is the only African country with large amounts of carvable stone. The stone was so important to the people of Zimbabwe that the word 'Shona' is derived from a word from their native language that means 'house of stone.' There is no technical artistic training in Shona sculpture. Sculpting skills are passed down through families and the large and hard stones are carved with only hammer and chisel and no modern power tools are used. Themes articulated in stone stem from several beliefs and cultures in the everyday Shona society. These include mythology, rituals, and spiritual ideology. In the words of Bernard Matemera, one of the founders of this movement: "The spirits are everywhere in the air, in the rocks. A rock is like a fruit - like an orange or a banana. You don't eat them without peeling them first. It needs to be opened to be eaten. I open the rocks. The fruit is inside."
Works from first generation Shona sculptors such as Henry Munyaradzi, Sylvestor Mubayi, Josiah Manzi, Bernard Takawira, Nicholas Mukomberanwa, and Bernard Matemera, are much sought after by art collectors worldwide. Hemingway Gallery has had a close relationship with these artists and continues the relationship with the last surviving first generation sculptures (Josiah Manzi and Sylvester Mubayi) and the subsequent generations of artists. Hemingway African Gallery was the first gallery to import Shona sculpture into the United States. It continues as the largest wholesale importer of Zimbabwean art including monumental sculptures that other importers shy away from.
All sales are final. We take returns for store credit on a case-by-case basis. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hemingway African Gallery expertly packs all pieces. In the occurrence of an accident, all damaged items must be reported to us within 3 days of delivery. Hemingway African Gallery is not responsible for artworks damaged by the shipping carrier. We do not accept refunds and returns of the damaged products. If you purchase insurance ahead of shipping (recommended), we will file a claim with the shipping company for you.
You are responsible for all shipping costs (including crating and insurance), calculated on an actual cost basis. Because of this, buyers will be contacted, after the sale, with shipping options for large artworks.
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International Shipping Taxes:
For all shipping methods outside the US, duty and taxes are payable upon receipt of package. This is a fee that your country charges for delivery of packages coming in from all outside countries and will vary depending on the individual country you live in. Hemingway African Gallery is not responsible for any duty and tax fees due. Please check with your local postal carrier for an estimate on what this charge may be prior to placing your order.
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New York State Sales Tax:Orders shipped to addresses within the state of New York are subject to a 8.875% sales tax unless you provide a sales tax exemption certificate.