Additional Information: A large and typical example of carved figure from the Mumuye people. The Mumuye who live along the eastern bank of the Benue River in Northern Nigeria in an area of mixed art and influences. This figure depicts a male with a crescent hairstyle, a stylized triangular face characterized by tubular eyes, triangular nose mouth ending with pointed chin.
Traditionally the Mumuye use figurative sculptures for a number of wide ranging purposes. Highly abstracted figures called Lagalagan are in the care of a trusted elder who keeps them in a shrine that is a small hut in the family compound where they are involved in family and community life. They are thought to be able to manipulate the forces of nature and control human behavior. Mumuye figures participate in ceremonies to bring rain, make iron, heal, advise, sit at trials and officiate at funerals. Mumuye figures are some of the most highly stylized figures found in West Africa. Their highly attuned figures are prime examples of the best of abstractive and stylistic development available in African sculpture. Figures such as this represent females with a high crested hairstyle and large wooden plugs placed into the nose. This is a well-carved and highly finished example of Mumuye carving that would stand well in any collection..
I have examined this piece and agree with the description.
Niangi Batulukisi, PhD.