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"African Impala Family" Serpentine Stone Sculpture/Art Handmade in Zimbabwe!Product DescriptionHave a look at this adorable, hand carved, very large Impala Shona sculpture. Fashioned out of a wondeful Chiweshe mined Serpentine Stone from Zimbabwe and polished to a high lustre.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. Weighs 31.1 lbs Please check the images for dimensions or contact me for specifics. Gallery retail would be over $800. Thanks for looking and helping to support the artists.ImpalaFrom Wikipedia:Animpala(Aepyceros melampusGreek αιπος,aipos"high" κερος,ceros"horn" +melas"black"pous"foot") is a medium-sizedAfricanantelope. The nameimpalacomes from theZulu languagemeaning "gazelle". They are found insavannasand thickbushveldinKenya,Tanzania,Swaziland,Mozambique, northernNamibia,Botswana,Zambia,Zimbabwe, southernAngola, northeasternSouth AfricaandUganda. Impalas can be found in numbers of up to two million in Africa.TaxonomyIn the past,taxonomistshad put impalas in the same tribe asgazelles,kobsandhartebeests. However, it was found that the impala was so different from any of these tribes that it was put in its own tribe,Aepycerotini. This tribe has now been elevated to full subfamily status.Usually, twosubspeciesare distinguished, which is supported bymitochondrial DNAanalysis:Black-faced impala -Aepyceros melampus petersiCommon impala -Aepyceros melampus melampusAppearanceA mature impala ram inMikumi National Park,TanzaniaImpala range between 75 and 95 cm (30 and 37 in) tall. Average mass for a male impala is 40 to 80 kg (88 to 180 lb), while females weigh about 30 to 50 kg (66 to 110 lb). They are normally reddish-brown in color (hence theAfrikaansname of "Rooibok", not to be confused withrhebok), have lighter flanks and white underbellies with a characteristic "M" marking on the rear. Males, referred to as rams, havelyre-shaped horns, which can reach up to 90 centimeters in length. Females, referred to as ewes, have nohorns. The black impala, found in very few places in Africa, is an extremely rare type. Arecessive genecauses the black colouration in these animals.EcologyImpala leaping in KenyaImpalas are anecotonespecies "living in light woodland with little undergrowth and grassland of low to medium height".They have an irregular distribution due to dependence on relatively flat lands with good soil drainage and water.While they stay near water in the dry season, they can go weeks without drinking if there is enough green fodder.Impalas are adaptable foragers. They usually switch between grazing and browsing depending on the season. During wet seasons when grasses are fresh they graze.During dry seasons they browse foliage, shoots, forbs and seeds.They may switch between grazing and browsing depending on the habitat.Leopards,cheetahs,lionsandwild dogsprey on impala.Impala, as well as other small- to medium-sized African antelopes, have a special dental arrangement on the front lower jaw similar to thetoothcombseen instrepsirrhine primates,which is used duringgroomingto comb the fur and removeectoparasites.Social structure and reproductionMale impalas rutting (fighting during the breeding season)Females and young form herds of up to 200 individuals. When food is plentiful, adult males will establish territories. Females pass through the territories that have the best food resources.Territorial males round up any female herds that enter their grounds,and will chase away bachelor males that follow.They will even chase away recently weaned males. A male impala tries to prevent any female from leaving his territory. During the dry seasons, territories are abandoned, as herds must travel farther to find food. Large, mixed tranquil herds of females and males form. Young male impalas who have been made to leave their previous herd form bachelor herds of around 30 individuals. Males that are able to dominate their herd are contenders for assuming control of a territory.Aepyceros melampus petersi, female (Namibia)The breeding season of impalas, also calledrutting, begins toward the end of the wet season in May. The entire affair typically lasts approximately three weeks. While young are usually born after six to seven months,the mother has the ability to delay giving birth for an additional month if conditions are harsh. When giving birth, a female impala will isolate herself from the herd,despite numerous attempts by the male to keep her in his territory.The impala mother will keep the fawn in an isolated spot for a few days or even leave it lying out in hiding for a few days, weeks, or more before returning to the herd.There, the fawn will join a nursery group and will go to its mother only to nurse or whenpredatorsare near.Fawns are suckled for four to six months.Males who mature are forced out of the group and will join bachelor herds.When frightened or startled, the whole herd starts leaping about to confuse their predator. They can jump distances of more than ten meters (33ft) and three meters (9ft) high. Impalas can reach running speeds of about 90km/h (56mph),to escape their predators. When escaping from predators, they can release a scent from their glands on their heels, which can help them stay together. This is done by performing a high kick of their hind legs.StatusThe common impala is one of the most abundant antelopes in Africa, with about one-quarter of the population occurring in protected areas.The largest numbers occur in areas such as theMasai MaraandKajiado(Kenya);Serengeti, Ruaha and Selous (Tanzania);Luangwa Valley(Zambia);Okavango(Botswana); Hwange, Sebungwe and theZambezi Valley(Zimbabwe);Kruger National Park(South Africa) and on private farms and conservancies (South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia).The rare Black-faced impalas survive inEtosha National Parkand private farms in NamibiaShona 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