For additional detail, click on any photo below to see the higher resolution version of the image.
Haya (?) Sukuma (?), or neighboring people, Tanzania
Yale African Art Archives # 0116172~01
3 feet (.91 meters) - span of arms  26 inches
wood, pigment

According to Kip McKesson, figures like this one were used by the Sukuma in a competition between the two dance groups.

"While not frequently seen in today's competitions, the large corpus of Sukuma dance figures, called
mabinda, were used in performances to
capture the spectators' attention and finalize a victory in competition. Sukuma figures are generally used to satirize character types (either in the
opponent dance group or in the village), create narratives with invented characters, or simulate sexual relations. Separated by the confines of
the performance space, dancers perform the unsuggestible or move the figures in sexually provocative ways to excite a growing crowd and
entice them to stay on their side." - Kip McKesson (http://www.kipmckesson.com/resources) You can also find a video on this link on his website
that he took of figures being used in performance.

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