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Traditional Healer by Peter Chikumbirike
Traditional Healer known as a N'Anga in Shona, still play an important role in Shona society. So-much-so that they are recognized by the Zimbabwe government and have their own regulating association.
Peter has captured the charisma and intensity of a N'Anga in this astounding green Verdite work; but he has also eccentrically but successfully incorporated some of the accoutrements of a N'Anga's craft into the composition . . . a small horn used for "cupping", a large horn to summon the spirits of the ancestors and a short-handled fly-wisk (not to swat flies) to wave to attract the spirits too.
The intense green stone is a chrome and mica based mineral that comes from only one mine in the Mazoe area of Zimbabwe. It is hard and impregnated with corundum which can be as hard as a nine on the Mors scale of hardness.
My Late senior lecturer at Art College, Charles Upton, used to say, "one of the hardest things to do in sculpture is to put a head on a neck and a neck on a shoulder!" Why Charles? "Well, after all, it doesn't fit geometrically. A head is a tilted egg, a neck is a cylinder and shoulders are a trapezoid. Doesn't work!!!". Peter makes it work.
Large pieces like this of deep green verdite do not exist any more in the one-and-only quarry in Zimbabwe. It has been mined out. The brown, yellow, camouflage and variegated are still mined, sadly not the green. Gone.