The BGroupÔ Collection
of Zimbabwean Shona Sculptures


"Shona sculpture, with its roots in traditional society and its concern for contemporary life, is a bold statement from a culture in transition" †.

  View Richard Mteki Collection
Richard Mteki
View Ronnie Dongo Collection
Ronnie Dongo
 
View Chituwa Jemali Collection
Chituwa Jemali
View Forbes Suriyari Collection
Forbes Suriyari
View Lovemore Chitaunike Collection
Lovemore Chitaunike
View Queen Sango Collection
Queen Sango
View Palmer Mteki Collection
Palmer Mteki
View Derick Kaunze Collection
Derick Kaunze
View Obert Marime Collection
Obert Marime
View Cloude Mapete Collection
Cloude Mapete

THE ART FORM

Shona sculptures are made in Zimbabwe, a country in the southern region of the African continent just north of South Africa. The sculptures are typically called "Shona" sculptures because it is the name of the tribe in Zimbabwe that has traditionally created these works of art. Representing over 80% of the population, the Shona tribe is culturally the most dominate tribe in Zimbabwe.

The stone carving has been apart of the Zimbabwean culture since 1200 AD when Great Zimbabwe, an archeological masterpiece of their early ancestors, was built.

The Schomburg Center says, that "since the re-emergence of this stone carving tradition in the 1950s, the solid forms and beautiful surfaces of Shona sculpture express an extraordinary emotional power". Today the art form commands worldwide recognition with 5 of the 10 leading sculptors-carvers in the world coming from the Shona tribe.

The Shona sculptures are produced from a variety of stones. Serpentine stone, with its considerable range of colors and hardness, is the material most commonly used by the sculptors. Most serpentine stone used was formed over 2.6 billion years ago. Serpentine stone exists in a diversity of colors including black (the hardest and least common), browns, mauves, greens, and yellows. Sometimes sculptures are also made of rarer or semi-precious stones like "Leopard Rock" and verdite.

It is a marvel to see an artist take a lifeless mass of rock, with its pale, jagged surface and mold it with their hands, mind and heart into a smooth, polished, brilliant work of art. This is the true spirit of Contemporary African Art.

† "African Art: Traditions and Transformations", Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture


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Photo ©Copyright Elliott M. Blades, 1998, 1999. All Rights Reserved
©Copyright BGroup, 1998, 1999. All Rights Reserved