Figure, Colon



Figure, Colon




20th Century


West Africa, Cote d'Ivoire or Ghana


Wood, paint
14 15/16 x 5 3/8 x 3 9/16 in. (38 x 13.7 x 9 cm)

Object Number



This figure depicts a Colon, a colonial genre showing the African in Western-style dress. The numerous examples in the African art market today originated when foreign soldiers, colonial officials, and expatriates began asking West African carvers for personal souvenirs.

In this example the carver has depicted a fashionably-dressed young African man through the delicate rendering of his belt, shirt, shoes and a parted hairstyle popular in West Africa in the 1940s. These modern references are combined with older indigenous visual markers of identity: the facial scarification and a ringed neck. The Colon refers to West Africa's colonial experience while also presenting the pan-African imagery of an emerging modern class.

Credit Line

Ex coll. William S. Arnett


The Art of Collecting: Recent Acquisitions at the Michael C. Carlos Museum, Michael C. Carlos Museum, November 8, 1997 - January 4, 1998|
MCCM Permanent Collection Gallery, 2008 - December 1, 2014
MCCM Newsletter, December 2007 - February 2008.


© Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University. Photo by Bruce M. White, 2006.
This image is provided by the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University, who retains all rights in it. This image is made available for limited non-commercial, educational, and personal use only, or for fair use as defined by United States law. For all other uses, please contact the Michael C. Carlos Museum Office of Collections Services at +1(404) 727-4282 or Users must cite the author and source of the image as they would material from any printed work, but not in any way that implies endorsement of the user or the user's use of the image. Users may not remove any copyright, trademark, or other proprietary notices, including without limitation attribution information, credits, and copyright notices that have been placed on or near the image by the Museum. The Museum assumes no responsibility for royalties or fees claimed by the artist or third parties. The User agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Emory University, its Michael C. Carlos Museum, its agents, employees, faculty members, students and trustees from and against any and all claims, losses, actions, damages, expenses, and all other liabilities, including but not limited to attorney’s fees, directly or indirectly arising out of or resulting from its use of photographic images for which permission is granted hereunder.

On View



“Figure, Colon,” Michael C. Carlos Museum Collections Online, accessed December 16, 2018,

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