Zimbabwe Shona Sculpture

Gift Muza

Knowlton Collection
Point Pleasant, Pennsylvania USA

http://zimbabweshonasculpture.com/giftmuza/giftmuza.html
20" high
7.5" wide
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20" high
7.5" wide
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Gift Muza have always made a powerful impression on anyone looking at an exhibition of stone sculpture from Zimbabwe. He was always interested in capturing the various images of the spirit ancestors who are so much of a part of the culture of the Shona people. The Shona take up more than 70% of the 11 million population of Zimbabwe. Shona dominance helps keep many aspects of their traditional culture a continuing influence in daily life, especially in the rural areas.

Gift Muza carved stone into pieces which express gentleness, humor and love. He chose subjects which were whimsical and endearing. Kindness, laughter and smiles are captured in his carvings of hippos, owls, cranes and turtles. His embarrassed spirit men shyly hide giggling smiles.

The spirit in each stone told Gift what to carve. Gift learned the techniques of his art from his cousin, recognized artist Peter Mandala. After one year of tutoring, Gift was able to produce works as an instinctive artist in his own right.

Every Shona family looks forward to the birth of it's first son. This son becomes the family elder and is responsible for the financial well being of sisters, younger brothers, their wives, their children and all younger cousins. He made all the decisions regarding the family's future, settled quarrels, gave blessings of marraige and doled out proper retributions when necessary. Before Gift was born, his mother gave birth to five daughters. His mother was so thrilled with her "gift" that this became his name. Gift was considered a very fine sculptor and he delighted in finding serpentine stone with a rich variety of colors. His work is always beautifully finished.

Gift Muza has exhibited at the Commonwealth Institute, London; Spiral Building, Tokyo; Pacific Asian Art Museum, Pasadena, CA; Washington, D.C.; Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey; Somerset Art Museum, Pluckemin, New Jersey; Salve Regina University, Newport, Rhode Island; Garrison Art Museum, Garrison, New York; and at the New York Athletic Club in New York City.

Gift Muza passed away at the young age of 34 in September of 1996, leaving a wife and five children.

last update
2 April 2016 ~ 13:24 EST
Knowlton Collection
4961 River Rd., Point Pleasant, Pennsylvania, 18950, USA

Mailing address:
763 Almshouse Rd, Doylestown, PA 18901

Thomas Gamache
504-251-8295

~email~

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