Barack Obama’s “Paradox of Power” Wood Carving

Barack Obama’s “Paradox of Power” Wood Carving

Regular price
$900.00
Sale price
$900.00
Shipping calculated at checkout.
Items Available: 1
Quantity must be 1 or more

Each president brings personal mementos into his new home, and the wood carving Barack Obama has brought to the White House combines African tribal tradition with a poignant message.  Obtained on a 2006 visit to his ancestral Kenya, the "Paradox of Power" is a sculpture of a hand holding an egg, symbolizing the fragility of chiefly power.  According to an ancient proverb, power is like an egg; if it's held too tightly, it breaks, and if it's held too loosely, it will slip from grasp. 

Art has always been an integral part of African life, and wood carvings are expressions of philosophy and ritual in the life of the tribe.  Skilled carvers use simple hand tools to create these stunning objects — gouges,   chisels, mallets, and pointed instruments.  Although no two pieces are ever identical, as carvers meticulously hewn each piece according to the grain and texture of the tree, each is rich in symbolism, conveying a guiding principle of leadership, one that has been embraced by the President.

The rare wood carving is crafted to the size of a human hand; it stands 10-inches high and weighs 1 1/2-pounds. The “hand” is carved from the hardwood of the Monkey Pod tree, with interlocked, wavy grain and colors that range from medium tan to dark brown; the “egg” is lathe-turned from the hardwood of the Coffea Arabica tree, a species that produces the majority of coffee consumed in the world.