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"African Warthog in motion" Verdite Shona Stone Sculpture Handmade in Zimbabwe!Product DescriptionAttractive verdite stone sculpture of an African warthog in motion from Zimbabwe. These pieces are hand sculpted using unsophisticated tools over many hours. The detail in this is tremendous.Gallery retail on this would be over $350.Verdite, also known as "Africa's Green Gold", is highly sought after by artists. Only the more experienced sculptor will dare sculpt from this hard stone. Verdite rates between a 7.0-9.0, depending on the amount of Corrundum inclusions, on the universally used Mohs hardness scale. Verdites color is unique in that it boasts an Emerald looking quality with beautiful brown and green striations. Unfortunately, verdite is fast becoming rare and is difficult to find. Carvings from this stone will become increasingly more valuable.Read more about Shona sculpture below and how it is unique to Zimbabwe. Weighs approx. 1lb 6.1 oz ounces.Thanks for looking and helping to support the artists.WarthogFrom Wikipedia:TheWarthogorCommon Warthog(Phacochoerus africanus) is a wild member of thepig familythat lives in grassland, savanna, and woodland inSub-Saharan Africa.In the past it was commonly treated as asubspeciesofP. aethiopicus, but today that scientific name is restricted to theDesert Warthogof northernKenya,Somalia, and easternEthiopia.The common name comes from the four large, wart-like protrusions found on the head of the warthog, which serve as a fat reserve and are used for defense when males fight.Afrikaans-speakingBoerpeople who live in or near warthog habitat call the animal "vlakte-vark", meaning "pig of the plains".DescriptionSkullP. a. massaicus, male,Serengeti, TanzaniaWarthogs range in size from 0.9 to 1.5 m (3.0 to 4.9 ft) in length and 50 to 75 kg (110 to 170 lb) in weight. A warthog is identifiable by the two pairs oftusksprotruding from the mouth and curving upwards. The lower pair, which is far shorter than the upper pair, becomes razor sharp by rubbing against the upper pair every time the mouth is opened and closed. The uppercanine teethcan grow to 23cm (9.1in), and are of a squashed circle shape incross section, almost rectangular, being about 4.5cm (1.8in) deep and 2.5cm (0.98in) wide. A tusk will curve 90 degrees or more from the root,and will not lie flat on a table, as it curves somewhat backwards as it grows. The tusks are used for digging, for combat with other hogs, and in defense against predators—the lower set can inflict severe wounds.Warthogivoryis taken from the constantly growing canine teeth. The tusks, more often the upper set, are worked much in the way of elephant tusks with all designs scaled down. Tusks are carved predominantly for the tourist trade in East and SouthernAfrica.The head of the warthog is large with a mane that goes down the spine to the middle of the back.Sparse hair covers the body. Color is usually black or brown. Tails are long and end with a tuft of hair. Common warthogs do not have subcutaneous fat and the coat is sparse, making them susceptible to extreme environmental temperatures.EcologyInNgorongoro Crater, TanzaniaFeeding on itskneesThe warthog is the only pig species that has adapted to grazing and savanna habitats.Its diet is omnivorous, composed of grasses, roots, berries and other fruits, bark, fungi, insects, eggs and carrion.The diet is seasonably variable, depending on availability of different food items. During the wet seasons warthogs grazeon short perennial grasses.During the dry seasons they subsist on bulbs,rhizomesand nutritious roots.Warthogs are powerful diggers, using both snout and feet. Whilst feeding, they often bend the front feet backwards and move around on the wrists.Calloused pads that protect the wrists during such movement form quite early in the development of the fetus. Although they can dig their own burrows, they commonly occupy abandoned burrows ofaardvarksor other animals. The warthog commonly reverses into burrows, with the head facing the opening and ready to burst out if necessary. Warthogs will wallow in mud to cope with high temperatures and huddle together to cope with low temperatures.Although capable of fighting (males aggressively fight each other during mating season) the warthog's primary defense is to flee by means of fast sprinting. The warthog's main predators arehumans,lions,leopards,crocodiles, andhyenas.Cheetahsare also capable of catching small warthogs. However, if a female warthog has any piglets she will defend them very aggressively. Warthogs can inflict severe wounds on lions, sometimes ending with the lions bleeding to death. Warthogs have been observed allowingbanded mongoosesto groom them to removeticks.Social behavior and reproductionFemale with young,Serengeti National Park,TanzaniaWarthogs are not territorial but instead occupy a home range.Warthogs live in groups calledsounders. Females live in sounders with their young and with other females.Females tend to stay in their natal groups while males leave but stay within the home range.Sub-adult males associate in bachelor groups but leave alone when they become adults.Adult males only join sounders that have estrous females. Warthogs have two facial glands; the tusk gland and the sebaceous gland. Warthogs of both sexes begin to mark around six to seven months old.Males tend to mark more than females.Places that they mark include sleeping and feeding areas and waterholes.Warthogs use tusk marking for courtship, for antagonistic behaviors, and to establish status.Warthogs are seasonal breeders.Rutting begins in the late rainy or early dry season and birthing begins near the start of the following rainy season.The mating system is described as "overlap promiscuity": the males have ranges overlapping several female ranges, and the daily behavior of the female is unpredictable. Boars employ two mating strategies during the rut. With the "staying tactic", a boar will stay and defend certain females or a resource valuable to them.In the "roaming tactic" boars seek out estrous sows and compete for them.Boars will wait for sows to emerge outside their burrows.A dominant boar will displace any other boar that also tries to court his female. When a sow leaves her den, the boar will try to demonstrate his dominance and then follow her before copulation.For the "staying tactic", monogamy, female-defensepolygyny, or resource-defense polygyny is promoted while the "roaming tactic" promotes scramble-competition polygyny.The typicalgestationperiod is five or six months. When they are about to give birth, sows temporarily leave their families to farrow in a separate hole.Thelitteris two to eight piglets, with two to four typical.The sow will stay in the hole for several weeks nursing her piglets.Warthogs have been observed to engage in allosucking.Sows will nurse foster piglets if they lose their own litter, making them cooperative breeders. Allosucking does not seem to be a case of mistaken identity or milk theftand may be a sign of kin altruism. Piglets begin grazing at about two to three weeks and are weaned by six months.Warthogs are considered a "follower" species as the young are kept nearby at all times and do not hide.Conservation statusThe warthog population in southern Africa is estimated to be about 250,000.Typical densities range between 1 and 10 per km² in protected areas, but local densities of 77 per km² were found on short grass in Nakuru National Park.The species is susceptible to drought and hunting (especially with dogs), which may result in localized extinctions.The Common Warthog is present in numerous protected areas across its extensive rangeShona 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 serpentin