The “Tree of Life” or “Ujamaa” a Makonde term, is carved directly from the ebony wood tree in Tanzania. The outer, original tree bark is sometimes left intact to highlight the work. In general the tree displays how a typical African village survives by working with nature and by each man supporting one another. The figures: animals, men, women, children, huts and trees are carved with great detail and vary from tree to tree. The work is exceptional despite the fact that ebony wood is exceedingly dense and very very hard to carve. Certain trees exhibit a variance in color from light to dark wood which is very attractive. With the ebony tree the further you go from the center core the lighter the wood becomes. These sculptures vary in height from 1 foot to over 6 feet tall.
This fine example is carved into a tall ebony trunk and is approximately 4 feet high.