BONGO and BELANDA POSTS ARCHIVES, Sudan


The posts below have been sold and are left here for reference and educational purposes.

For UNSOLD Bongo posts GO TO BONGO POSTS PAGE

 BONGO 1
SOLD

 BELANDA 4
SOLD

BONGO 5
SOLD

DINKA 8
SOLD

BONGO (?) 11
SOLD

BELANDA 10
SOLD

 BONGO 2
SOLD

 BONGO 3
SOLD

BONGO 6
SOLD

Photographs © Hamill Gallery

BONGO and BELANDA, FUNERARY POSTS, Sudan

For additional information on these posts we recommend a feature article on them by Klaus-Jochen Kruger in the Winter/Spring 1999/2000 issue of Tribal Arts.

These large sculptures come from the Bongo people of southern Sudan. They were noted as early as the nineteenth century when travelers reported large sculpted funerary or memorial markers placced above tombs composed of large stones. Sculpted figures on a plinth or abstracted pole-like sculptures surmounted by a carved head were at best idealized representations of the dead and not portraits of a specific person. Among the Bongo large sculptures recognized and honored male elites, warriors, chiefs or locally significant personages. Within a small fenced gravesite the large figurative sculptures were part of tableaux of smaller figures representing family members while the abstracted pole style of funerary figures will often have ridged necks with each ridge purportedly indicating an enemy or large animal killed. Erected with a ceremony during which dishes of food were left at the grace site the figures and posts were also said to protect against sorcerers spells.

All are carved out of dense red mahogany, which has faded with exposure. Small chips, usually on the rings reveal the original color. Some were originally painted but no evidence of paint remains on these. Post 7 has some surface treatment intact. Posts 4, 5 & 7 had their bases cut off, to avoid disturbing the sacred ground.

Post figures #4 and #10 are from the Belanda, neighbors of the Bongo. Post #8 may be Dinka. Posts #9, #11 and #12 are not standard form we cannot be certain of the exact attribution. Figure 13 is carved out of  the same dense red mahogany.

Despite their appearance most of these posts show no evidence of age or use and were probably made to be sold.

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