I was pleased to find a small carving of a traditional woman while shopping with the TechWomen who joined the delegation to Rwanda earlier this month. The picture above shows three such carvings I own:
- A cedar wood carving from Morocco (2011) of a fully-covered woman (6-1/2″)
- A jacaranda wood carving from Rwanda (2014) of a woman bearing a peace basket on her head and carrying a child on her back (10-1/2″)
- An olive wood carving from Israel (2006) of Ruth with a sickle in one hand and a bundle of grain under her arm (10″)
I enjoy the contrasts in costume, wood color and grain, and artistry in these three depictions of female figures from very different cultures. The carving to show the drape of fabric is particularly interesting. Also, that the hair is explicitly covered and the movement of each body seems more important than the face. These are craft pieces – carved for and sold in large numbers to tourists: they are not fine art. This may mean that such little craft figures are more representative of cultural standards for women than individual portraits would be.
Images Copyright 2014 by Katy Dickinson