Zimbabwe is a center for contemporary stone carving in Africa. Its Tengenenge School attracts self-taught artists who enjoy working in a communal setting. Their art is called Shona sculpture, named after the country's largest tribe.
Like other examples, African Queen is carved from serpentine, an extremely hard and durable stone indigenous to Zimbabwe. Typically, each artist quarries the stone for his own sculptures. Respectful of the natural texture of the material, the artist who crafted African Queen retained its rough-hewn surface in the regal headdress surrounding the artfully modeled face.