Size can make a Difference!!

In Swahili Kubwa Mvulana (KM) means “Big Boy”, the name I gave to my favorite Fang Bieri (Byeri) figure. In keeping with the Fang principle of “Balance of Opposites” KM seemed pretty content with his lot, but I sensed as a sculpture he had a lot more potential.

Image

KM (middle) hanging out with pals

I found KM in November of 2012, sans belly-button and genitalia – the belly button was a due to a recent break, while there was a 2 inch drilled cavity where his manhood should have been. There was actually some deterioration within the cavity (which required filling) and ultimately led to the following pictoral “famine to feast” or “rags to riches” story.

KM - Before & After!!

KM – Before & After!!

It’s not surprising to find the genitalia removed from Bieri or Dengese sculpture. The problem with restoring pieces is that one tries to develop a consistency of form, age, and cutting style. This is an expensive and risky process, but when it works it is well worth the effort.

Shaping the Belly-Button

Shaping the Belly-Button

Hexagonal Approach

Hexagonal Approach

Operating Table

Operating Table

Belly-Button insertion!

Belly-Button insertion!

Belly-Button Inserted, "Aged", & Stained!

Belly-Button Inserted, “Aged”, & Stained!

Plugging cavity to stop rot and to keep insects out.

Plugging cavity to stop rot and to keep insects out.

Glued & Attached with pins!!

Glued & Attached with pins!!

KM smiling on the inside!!

KM smiling on the inside!!

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2 Responses to Size can make a Difference!!

  1. Tashie says:

    Very nice! Studying African sculpture now I notice most Fang sculpture to have these prominent outie belly buttons. Is there a reason known as to why this is?

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