To holmertz: Thank you, Gert!

  • Thank you, Gert, for your kind and encouraging remarks yet again!

    Of course, you're absolutely right - I saw Luciano's excellent photograph and that spurred me into looking through my very poor pictures from 2001. I still can't quite understand why I chose to take several rolls of cheap film which I had never tried before - that was a very stupid mistake.

    Like yourself, I'm not sure if this lady was supposed to be clothed or if it was the artist's intention that she stood here naked. I've tried to look for a bit more information about this particular place where we stayed in the Kirindy Forest but reliable information is pretty sparse. I have found this photograph from 2015 which I am certain is of the same statue with the same hut behind it. The hut is in far better condition than it was in 2001, the ground is less cluttered and even the crude fences are new. Also, if you look at this page and scroll through the images near the top by clicking "next", you will see a head and shoulders picture of what I believe is the same statue: unfortunately I think that the map farther down that page is very inaccurate - the Kirindy Forest is much nearer the west coast of the island and only about 50 kilometres inland from Morondava which lies on the west coast. I also managed to find another picture amongst some TripAdvisor images which you might be able to find here.

    I hope those links worked! But now a question for you! More than ten years ago I posted what I thought was an interesting upload to Treklens. I was quite pleased that the moderators did not at that time think fit to remove it. I thought that this curious and erotic "funerary art" was quite remarkable: we found this little tomb just two or three hundred metres from this statue in the surrounding forest. I thought that perhaps a little triptych of images might make an interesting upload for TE - but do you think that might cause offence or risk incurring the wrath of the moderators?

    Thank you once again for your kind remarks!

    Kind Regards,

  • Hello John,

    Since the moderators are not American, and not employed by Facebook, they will probably not regard nudity in art as offensive.
    It was interesting to see that the wooden lady has received a new dress since your visit, so people seem anxious to keep her in good shape.
    I wish you a nice weekend.
  • Hello John and Gert,

    Gert posed an interesting question and what an answer he got! It seems that this lady has many dresses. Maybe it is a custom like this in Madagascar? At the moment I can't find out and give more examples but in many churches in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador, but I suppose that also in Spain. the figures are dressed in real clothes. You can see it for instance here: or here:
    Seeing such sculptures, I usually wondered what they have under the dress? Was it just to make only the face and hands of the figure? I have never found an answer.

    Have a nice evening

  • Hello Malgo,

    I'm afraid I can't answer your question but I do note that the "lady" in my picture does at least have a very simply carved umbilicus, so she does have other details than just head, hands and feet!

    But did you look at the link in paragraph four of my reply to Gert? That was the link to an old TrekLens picture of mine. Those carvings show considerably more detail than one would normally expect! And what do you think about posting a further image or two of that "funerary art" on TE nowadays? Do you think people might be offended or that the wrath of the moderators might be incurred?

    Kind Regards,

    John. xx
  • Hi John, Haha, yes I saw the photo from the link. In fact, you gave this link earlier, in a discussion on Madagascar .
    Hmm, I think that you can try with a good explanation. It is very interesting although a bit shocking to us. And why as nowadays we see nudity everywhere. And sex is one of the main themes. I have seen many examples of similar art (but rather ceramics than wood) of pre-Columbian times in Lima, in Larco Museum, see here:

    Have a nice Sunday

  • Hi Malgo,

    Yes, you're quite right - today sex is probably more openly discussed in Western society than it ever was before and people are more and more accepting things like same sex relationships - and yet somehow people find simple artistic representations of sex quite shocking. What a strange society in which we live!

    Kind Regards,