Geniune handcarved soapstone birds, painstaking imported out of the border village of Chirundu in between Zimbabwe and Zambia!
Scattered throughout the 11th century ruins of the Great Zimbabwe are prominent fixtures of a proud African eagle adopt some sort of pedestal. First described in 1889 by European explorers in the region, their purpose and meaning remain mysterious to this day. With the Great Zimbabwe being sub-Saharan Africa's largest ancient stone structure, the birds adorned adopt pillars and pedestals clearly had great spiritual or political significant to the ancestors of the Shona. The skill and craftsmanship it took to carve the birds confused European observers in the 20th century, who attributed them to civilization that was Mediterranean in origin. We know now the birds to be fully African in origin, though they remained steeped in the allure of a true meaning lost to time.
The Soapstone Birds of the Great Zimbabwe would prominently feature in both Rhodesian and Zimbabwean iconography for the next century after their discovery. Representing power, politics, violence, glory, mystery, and everything in between. Folks still argue to this day as to what the birds mean. In our opinion, this truly makes it an iconic symbol not just of the Great Zimbabwe, and those who would inherit the lands and nations around it, but the entirety of the dark continent itself.
Smuggled, shipped, smuggled, and shipped again, these have gone through a long (and rather expensive journey) to land in the great state of Texas. Thanks to the efforts of the late Kyle Porter
in setting up our trade networks in Africa, we're able to source these directly from the Shona family of one of the most decorated former living members of the Selous Scouts. Proceeds of these soapstone birds go directly to supporting members of that family in South Africa and Zimbabwe.
- Small: Approximately 6.5" by 4" / 0.8lbs
- Large: Approximately 7.8' by 4.3" / 2.5 lbs
They will likely contain a few small scuffs, blemishes and scratches given their long journey, and the fact that they were hand carved.
All prices are in United States Dollars (USD). We ship internationally!