Date: 20th Century
Dimensions: 24.5″ x 5″ x 5″
Date Acquired: 2014-08-15
From Where?: St Germain en Laye, France
This hyena sculpture immediately struck me as intensely charming, deceptively simple, and just the right kind of contrast with the rest of the collection. I have since looked at hundreds of other examples of African animal puppets and masks, and nothing compares to this one. It is deceptively simple because it has the concision of an epigram, and yet what little is there screams with vitality and it screams all the louder by avoiding the clumsy details or disjointed appearance that other versions suffer from.
Here is the Hyena next to the Vishnu Riding Garuda: