28 August 2013

Fragmentary Ancestors: Figurines from Koma Land, Ghana

Koma figurine. Image by Alan Seabright

Fragmentary Ancestors: Figurines from Koma Land, Ghana
Manchester Museum
Fri 25 Oct 2013 - Mon 5 May 2014
Free entry

This exhibition is the first ever officially approved showing of clay figurines made by a previously little understood people in Koma Land in Ghana in West Africa. The figurines, often fragmentary and depicting stylised humans, two-headed creatures, birds, and animals, are thought to perhaps represent ancestors. It is possible that some of the figurines had liquid offerings poured into channels that have been discovered in them, and that some might have been linked with healing and medicine. They were discovered during archaeological fieldwork directed by Dr Benjamin Kankpeyeng (University of Ghana) and involving colleagues such as Prof. Timothy Insoll (University of Manchester) working with the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board. The Koma figurines have been dated to between approximately 500 and 1300 AD.

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