*The store has not been updated recently. You may want to contact the merchant to confirm the availability of the product.
"African Tortoise" Serpentine Stone Sculpture Art Handmade in Zimbabwe!Product DescriptionWonderful Shona stone sculpture of an African tortoise from Zimbabwe.Serpentine stone boasts an array of colors that cannot be described. No one stone is alike. The reason for this is the many mineral inclusions within the stone giving its unique color variation. The name "Serpentine" comes from an association with the characteristics of a serpents skin. Serpentine is the most commonly used stone because of the varying hardness for both master sculptors, as well as his apprentice. Serpentine rates between 2.5 to 5.5, depending on mineral inclusions, on the universally used Mohs hardness scale,a diamond rates at 10.Shona Sculpture is unique to Zimbabwe where this art form has been perfected over generations. This would make a terrific and exotic gift for someone special and would look good on a small table or on a bookshelf. Weighs 1.8lbs. Please check the images for dimensions. Thanks for looking and helping to support the artists.Southern African TortoisesLearn about Southern Africa's tortoise species.By Karl H. SwitakNo other region on earth houses a greater diversity of tortoises than the subcontinent of Africa. This area includes the countries of Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland and the Republic of South Africa. Found here are five genera and 14 species. Three of the genera and 12 species are endemic. The area is also home to the smallest variety of tortoise known,Homopus signatus, from the wide-open spaces of Namaqualand. Males of this species seldom exceed a carapace length of 3 inches and a weight of 2.5 ounces.Included in the overall tortoise count is a species yet to be named. Branch (1998) calls it theNama padloper,Homopussp. Of course, a number of subspecies are also recognized, thus raising the tortoise diversity to even greater heights.The term "padloper" in connection with a tortoise is an Afrikaans term. It literally translates to pathwalker, road walker or even trail walker. In other words, the forward progression of a small tortoise using one of several narrow avenues.In southern Africa, tortoises are found from the Indian Ocean in the east, to the turbulent Atlantic in the west; from lowland jungle regions of Mozambique, to the sand-blown stretches of barren land that comprise much of the Namib and Kalahari deserts. They occur near sea level where blankets of fog often enshroud the entire countryside and in cold and montane regions, where winter freezing and snow isn't out of the question. Considering all the elevational factors and habitat variants that such a landmass represents, it isn't surprising to find one or more tortoise species in any of the aforementioned locales. They do show a preference for certain ecological niches, hence the diversity of isolated populations, demonstrated by pattern and color dimorphism.If your desire is to encounter tortoises in their wild domain, one where elephants charge, herds of zebras thunder across the open plains, lions roar and deadly denizens slither from one driedoring bush to another, then by all means join a safari to southern Africa.Shona ArtFrom Wikipedia:Shona artis contemporary stone sculpture fromZimbabwe. African stone sculpture is not traditional, although much of its subject matter has traditional roots. The art movement began around 1956 and was initiated byFrank McEwenwho at the time was the Director of The National Gallery of Rhodesia.During its early years of growth, it was described as an art renaissance, an art phenomenon and a miracle. Critics and collectors could not understand how an art genre had developed with such vigour, spontaneity and originality in an area of Africa which had none of the great sculptural heritage of West Africa and had previously been described in terms of the visual arts as artistically barren.Fifteen years of sanctions against the country obscured works from the Western world (apart from highly acclaimed exhibitions organised by Frank Mc Ewen in major museums such as Musee dArt Moderne, Paris; Musee Rodin, Paris; and the Institute of Contemporary Art, London). Yet these years also witnessed the honing of technical skills, the deepening of expressive power, the use of harder and different stones and the creation of many outstanding works.Since independence in 1980, the sculpture has been exhibited in the art capitals of the world and great acclaim has been accrued to the artists and the art form.In spite of the increasing demand, as yet little commercialisation has occurred. The most dedicated of artists display a high degree of integrity, never copying and still working entirely by hand, with spontaneity and a confidence in their skills, unrestricted by tedious drawings or measuring.The sculpture speaks of fundamental human experiences - experiences such as grief, elation, humour, anxiety and spiritual search - and has always managed to communicate these in a profoundly simple and direct way that is both rare and extremely refreshing. The artist 'works' together with his stone and it is believed that 'nothing which exists naturally is inanimate'- it has a spirit and life of its own. One is always aware of the stone's contribution in the finished sculpture and it is indeed fortunate that in Zimbabwe a magnificent range of stones are available from which to choose - hard black springstone, richly coloured serpentine and steatites, firm grey limestone and semi-precious Verdite and Lepidolite***********************************************Please browse through my other listings in my eCRATER store here:http://stores.eCRATER.com/africancraftworkYou will find :Exclusive hand carved Shona Stone sculptures.Musical instruments from Zimbabwe such as drums, mbiras, maracas & marimbas.Wire frame & beaded motorcycles, cars and animals, all hand assembled.An expanding quality selection of baskets and batik wall hangings.Walking sticks, masks and other ethnic curio & artifacts.Thank you!inkfrog terapeaki000000inkFrog Analytics