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Attractive Shona stone sculpture of an African elephant fromZimbabwe. Sculpted from a rich Serpentine stone and polished to ahigh lustre showing the variations of naturalZim. Serpentine. Shona sculpture is unique to Zimbabwe where this artform has been perfected over generations. This piece captures instone the "The African Elephant" in abstract. In Shona the elephant is known as Nzou and these mighty animalssometimes known as ghosts of the forest for their ability tomovequickly and quietly considering their size. In Shonaculture the elephant is highly respected andreveredfortheir loyalty. This wouldmake a terrific and exotic giftfor someone special or by a fireplace or on a bookshelf maybe. Weighs almost 2.2lbs.I ship quickly, thanks for looking!ElephantFrom Wikipedia, the freeencyclopediaElephantsare large landmammalsintwogeneraofthefamilyElephantidae:ElephasandLoxodonta.Threespeciesof elephant areliving today:theAfrican Bush Elephant, theAfrican Forest ElephantandtheAsian Elephant(also known as the Indian Elephant). Allother species and generaof Elephantidae areextinct, somesince the lastice age: dwarf forms ofmammothsmayhave survived as late as 2,000BC.Elephants andotherElephantidae were once classified with other thick-skinnedanimals in a now invalidorder,Pachydermata. Elephants arethelargestland animals now living.Theelephant'sgestationperiod is 22months, the longestof any land animal. At birth it is common for an elephant calfto weigh 120kilograms (260lb). They typically live for 50to 70years, but the oldest recorded elephantlived for82years.The largest elephant ever recorded was shotinAngolain 1956. This male weighed about 24,000lb(11,000kg),with ashoulder height of 3.96metres(13.0ft), a metre (yard) taller than the average male Africanelephant.The smallest elephants, about the size of acalf ora large pig, were a prehistoric species that lived on the islandofCreteduring thePleistoceneepoch.Elephantsare a symbol ofwisdomin Asian cultures and are famed fortheir memory andintelligence, where they are thought to be onpar withcetaceansandhominids.Aristotleoncesaid the elephant was "the beast which passeth all others in witand mind".The word "elephant" hasitsorigins in the Greekἐλέφας, meaning "ivory" or"elephant".African ElephantAfricanelephant,African Bush Elephant, andAfrican ForestElephantis typically larger than the Asian elephant and has aconcave back. In Asian elephants only males have tusks, but bothmales and females of Africanelephants are distinguished fromAsian elephants in several ways, the most noticeable being their muchlarger ears. Also, the Africanelephants have tusks and areusually less hairy than their Asian cousins.African elephantshave traditionally been classified as a single species comprising twodistinct subspecies, namely thesavannaelephant(Loxodontaafricana africana) and the forest elephant (Loxodonta africanacyclotis), but recentDNA analysissuggests that these mayactually constitutedistinct species.This split is notuniversally accepted by expertsand a third species of Africanelephant has also been proposed.This reclassification hasimplications forconservation. If there are two separatespecies, each will be less abundant and could be more endangeredthana more numerous and wide-ranging single species. Conversely,there is also a potential danger that, if the forest elephant is notexplicitly listed as anendangered species,poachersandsmugglers might be able to evade the law forlooking trade inendangered animals and their products.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!