2018 Anansi 14th Annual Auction Items

Live Auction: The following items will be auctioned off on May 12th at the 14th Annual Anansi Auction to be held at the Mt. Baker Theater in Bellingham, WA beginning at 5:30.  Proxy bids may be emailed to: roekathryn@gmail.com at least two days before the auction.


1. African Hippo      value, $80

Cote d’Ivoire Hippo.

This lovely carved hippo, made from a solid block of wood, is carved to a realistic look, then smoothed and polished. 4.5 ” tall. 13″ long. estimated value $80 

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Bamana Antelope Headdresses

These two Bamana headdresses of male and female antelope forms are called ci wara and are beautifully carved, covered in intricate hammered metal and most likely used in annual farm celebrations. Carved to honor the original mythical being, a divine being half animal half mortal, the male and female ci wara serve as the multi faceted metaphors for the elemetal forces upon which all humanity depends.    23″ and 21″ long. value estimate: $475


Djenne Terra Cotta Figures

These two pensive figures, one male and one female, are like the Djenne terracota forms historically found in the Inland Delta of the Niger River area in Mali. Unlike wooden artifacts, these fired clay forms do not deteriate in the humid climate of West Africa and thus could be quite old.  7″ tall, 13″ wide (both together) value estimate: $450


Red Elephant mask

This large double ended elephant mask is very commanding and undoubtedly made for the tourist market. Elephant depictions are among the best known, most flamboyant works of art from Africa and provide license for individual interpretation of the form. Historically elephant images were percieved as alter egos of the kings.  30″ by 9.5″,  value estimate: $600



Senufo Bird

This small carved standing bird is most often thought of as a hornbill but the species is unimportant. It represents the first ancestor of the human race or alternatively, “Mother of the Poro Child” and is used in the final rites of the Senufo Poro initation ceremonies for young men entering adulthood and indicates the authority of the elders.               11 inches tall, value estimate: $80


Eight String Kora

It has been said, “A Kora can calm the world down.” This unique, traditional, African instrument is made of a calabash, covered in a goat skin.  The sound quality is much like a harp  as well as the manner in which it is played. The musician holds the Kora on the hand posts and plucks the open strings.  31″ by 12″, value estimate: $300


Baule Wedding Container

This beautiful carved ceremonial container with lid was used for a presentation of gifts to the family of an intended bride. The carved figures, as with all Baule figural work, represents the ideal of human form and elements. 16.5” tall, value estimate: $750


 Congolese Nkisi figure

This Nkisi sculpture demonstrates the design criteria of all such forms. The dominate feature shows the belly region open and often the area of concentrated penetrations. The entire figure is draped with containers made of ceramic vessels, gourds, animals horns and shells, objects that can contain spiritually-charged substances. Each nail or metal piece represents a vow, a signed treaty, and efforts to abolish evil. Ultimately, these figures most commonly represent reflections upon socially unacceptable behaviors and efforts to correct them. The connection between the spirit world and the earthly world is constant across many tribes and cultures of Africa. The intercession of the spirit world provides substantiation and weight to leaders looking to settle disputes and enforce the rule of law within a society. When seeking aide from the Nkisi, the power would be activated with a knife stab or nail being driven into the vital parts with one interpretation viewing them as offerings for benefits received or to pass on a complaint to an enemy thought to have initiated harm. 18.5 ” tall, value estimate: $600


Korogo Mud Cloth

This Senufo mud cloth depiction of three masks, includes the dancer as well as the costume and headpiece of the tradtional figures being represented. The fabric is woven on a backstrap loom in strips, sewn together and then painted. Historically this painting was done with mud. Today, the painting is made with ink. These paintings are very traditional crafts that originate in Cote d’Ivoire. This extremely large piece is professionally framed and ready to hang. These mud cloths are currently fashionable though usually seen in smaller forms.  61.5 ” by 43.5″, value estimate: $800


Taureg Bowl and Staff

This Taureg bowl comes from the Taureg people in Mali. It is incised with the typical geographic motifs found in their work as is the carving of the staff. The Taureg are a nomadic people and this bowl would have been used to hold foodstuffs. It is easy to imagine this staff, stuck into the sand serving people at the end of the day. For modern use, we have provided a stand of welded steel. These items are increasing difficult to find as modern politics plays its role in the region. 47″ high, estimated value: $525


Dan/Kran Spirit Speaker Mask

This mask shows the influence of two stylistic traditions, that of the Kran and the Dan, both from the regions of Cote d’Ivoire and Liberia. The high rounded forhead is evident of the Dan, while the triangular eyes and cheek protrusions show the influence of the Kran. The unique protruding mouth is likely an indication of the magical powers imbued by the spirit speaking. The small figure mounted on top of the primary mask has many attributes of a Nkisi figure with the blinded eyes, and the touch point in the chest cavity as well as the treasures hanging at the waist. 24″ high, estimated value: $550


Ashanati Village Queen Mother’s Chair

This Ghanian Village Queen Mother’s chair is a symbol of the authority of the Queen Mother. Her role is to monitor the social conditions of the village such as nominating a new village chief when one has abdicated or died . This powerful village figure in the Akan culture can equal or even surpass that of the current male village chief. A good example of a Queen Mother surpassing the authority of the chief is that of Queen Yaa Asantewa when at the turn of the century she led the Ashanta against the British in the War of the Golden Stool. 23″ high by 16″ wide, estimated value: $600