Reginald and Celeste Hodges offer a private collection of thirty-five stone carvings from Sierra Leone and Liberia, as a unit, free of charge, to any educational institution or museum that agrees to use the stones for education and/or research. The stones are known as nomolis, or mahei yafei for the larger heads. The origins of the older stones are unknown and are still being researched. Art historian Frederick Lamp attributes the stones to the ancient Sapi. The Mende people call the stones rice gods. The Kissi use the stones in ancestor worship. The carvings are mostly soapstone with some limestone. All were collected in situ between 1968 and 2000. Twenty of the stones date back hundreds of years and were unearthed by farmers preparing their fields. One was pulled from a well in Liberia. The newer stones were produced in the mid-20th century by skilled artisans. Sixteen of the stones are pictured below. The stones are all in original condition. They have never been brushed, compressed air-cleaned, polished or altered in any way. If interested, or for additional information or photos, please contact email@example.com.
Above photo shows all of the soapstone figures being offered by the collectors.