Maternity Figure

365 Mother's Days Per Year

   Seated Maternity Figure; I.D. #A1001-055

Seated Maternity Figure; Khond People; Odisha, India; Early 20th C.; Dhokra Cast brass; 19 W x 31 D x 43 H inches;I.D. #A1001-055; $18,950

No one knows the name of the first human sculptor; where they resided and whether they had a studio, muse or model. It’s impossible to definitively determine what motivated them, although it’s a pretty sure bet they were overwhelmingly compelled to leave an artistic record of their time on earth as the creative impulse appears to be part of the evolutionary process. No one can say if they were compensated for their work or given special status because of their skill. In fact, the only thing that can be said with certainty is they sculpted “Venus figurines,” small statuettes celebrating the female form; themes of maternity, motherhood, fertility, and this week’s New Arrival.

This week’s New Arrival features a maternity figure created by a sculptor from the Khond tribe in India. Cast in brass using a 4,000 year old process called Dhokra, this one-of-a-kind statue is more memorable for what it depicts than how it was created. The Khond

Khond Maternity Figure shown atop an antique piece of Chinese furniture in the Five Elements Library; I.D. #A1001-055  

Khond Maternity Figure shown atop an antique piece of Chinese furniture in the Five Elements Library bookstore on the first floor at PRIMITIVE; 130 N Jefferson; Chicago, IL 60661; 312-575-9600


are a small fiercely independent tribal group occupying the Nyamgiri hills in the state of Odisha. They live today just like all our ancient forebears; hunting, gathering, foraging and farming, with reverence for the land and a deep-rooted core belief that females must be honored if everyone is to survive and flourish. Although this conviction permeates Khond art, it has been resonating 365 days per year all over the world since it was echoed by the first sculptor.