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20th Century Tribal Giryama Statue, Kenya


A highly abstract wooden post from Kenya. The Giryama people of the Kenyan coast are known for their long standing tradition of carved wooden mortuary posts. The grave posts, called kikangu, serve a number of functions within Giryama life. In the simplest sense, a kikangu stands as a grave marker. By honoring the power and presence of koma or ancestor spirits, these grave posts also fulfill an important role as mediators between the world of the living and the ancestral realm. The abstract and geometric forms of kikangu serve as a diagrammatic representation of a spirit. The kikangu also serves as a record of the deceased's life and sometimes may even indicate the number of wives or the number of enemies killed in battle by the deceased. Grave posts such as this are schematic and were not intended to be naturalistic.


  • In the Style Of
  • Place of origin
  • Date of manufacture
    Mid-20th Century
  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Dimensions

    H 69 in. x W 4.5 in. x D 1.5 in.

    H 175.26 cm x W 11.43 cm x D 3.81 cm

  • Seller location
    New York, NY
  • Reference number

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