"Paradox of Power" African Sculpture$295.00
In August, 2006, then-Senator Barack Obama visited his ancestral homeland of Kenya, taking time to visit his father's home and relatives in western Kenya (pictured here with his grandmother, Sarah Obama). All of Nyanza province prepared a hero's welcome that included the gift of a wooden sculpture that combines African tribal tradition with a poignant message. The "Paradox of Power" symbolizes the fragility of chiefly power: According to an ancient proverb, power is like an egg; if it's held too tightly, it breaks, and if it's held too loosely, it will slip from grasp.
Art has always been an integral part of African life, and wood carvings are expressions of power and ritual in the life of the tribe. Wood is the most popular material used in native sculpture, since it can be found in abundance. Skilled carvers use simple hand tools to create these stunning works of art - gouges, chisels, mallets, and pointed instruments. Although no two pieces are ever identical, as carvers meticulously hewn each piece according to the grain and texture of the tree, each is rich in symbolism, conveying a guiding principle of leadership, one that has been embraced by the President.
Offered is an authentic artisan work of art, true to the exquisite wooden sculpture, now kept in the President's private office. The "hand" is carved from the hardwood of the Monkey Pod tree, with interlocked, wavy grain and colors that range from medium tan to dark brown; the "egg" is lathe-turned from the hardwood of the Coffea Arabica tree, a species that produces the majority of coffee consumed in the world. This symbolic figurine, crafted to the size of a life-size human hand, stands 10-inches high and weighs 1 1/2-pounds.
"Paradox of Power" African Sculpture
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