Culture & Art from Central Africa

Jibu Sani – Altar (Life & Death)

KAP.B(i).01.01.01.010_01

Malawi - Dedza District - Mua Parish

 

This remarkable altar must count among Jibu Sani's masterpieces. God is depicted as lightning, containing within Himself the cycle of human life and death. The contrast between God's power without (the body of the altar) and human weakness within is striking. We see Man's descent from sky to earth, where he looks out of sorts and dejected, and the joy of his return to the sky, for that is his true home, and the Paschal mystery (which is re-enacted on the altar that the base supports) allows him to enjoy there the eternal life for which he is created. The cycle of human life and death is pointed by being placed alongside two chameleons, which intimate immortality for the Chewa: they describe a circle and provide visual metaphor for this aspect of the divine nature.

 

KAP.B(i).01.01.01.010

Artist: Jibu Sani

Title: Altar (Life & Death)

Date: 1989

Themes: Altar, Chameleon, Church Furniture, God - Creator, Mortality

Source: Vidi

KAP.B(i).01.01.01.010_03
KAP.B(i).01.01.01.007_01