El Cacique Negro
Ceramic sculpture, made of black chamotte clay.
30 H x 31 W x 18  cm / 11.8 H x 12.2 W x 7.1 in
Created by Ofir Hirsh under the Ando identity in 2015

I created this work under the cross influence of three major themes: Carnival masks, Taino culture and corals. When I completed it, I named it “El cacique Negro” because it has the spirit of a Taino Chief.
Cacique means “The Leader” in Taino. Tainos were the indigenous inhabitants of what is today the Dominican Republic. Although the Tainos looked a lot like the “Native Americans”, my Cacique is closer in his appearance to what I perceive as “contemporary” Dominicans, and the black chamotte clay made him “Negro”.
Masks have an important traditional role in the carnival that is celebrated each year  around February, in the Dominican Republic. And, if this sculpture somehow reminds you of corals, it is because I was freediving a lot in the Red Sea prior to creating it.