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Yoruba Kneeling Figure Carrying Bowl Nigeria African Art

Regular Price: $390.00

Special Price: $142.00

Product #: 79414
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Title Yoruba Kneeling Figure Carrying Bowl Nigeria African
Type of Object Sculpture
Country of Origin Nigeria
People Yoruba
Materials Wood and Pigment
Approximate Age Mid-20th Century
Dimensions Height: 21.5 Inches
Width: 7.5 Inches
Overall Condition Fair. Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners. Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use. We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings. Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.
Damage/Repair Patina worn away in small places, old insect damage arrested, chip damage in nose and mouth, bowl chipped, chips in base, shallow cracks in places large cracks in back and in base, chips and holes in figure,in bowl and in base

Additional Information:  A well used Yoruba figure of a keeling female carrying a bowl showing traces of long use and good age. 

Among the Yoruba of Nigeria sculpture in service to ritual and religion is integral to life.  Equally so are those arts given over to social purpose reflecting not only the social stature of the person who owns it but equally their tastes.  In the northern Ekiti region among the Yoruba containers known as Olumeye are carved most often in the shape of a rooster were placed in front of a female figure who is shown kneeling in position of submission and offering.  The bowl was used to  serve cola nuts  to elite guests. The high hair crest is a style known as irun agogo is as noted; “a recent bride or, as a priestess, or as a priestess married to an orisha, a deity in the Yoruba pantheon.” (Fagg and Pemberton;  1982:134)  She wears a protective amulet on her neck attached to a strand of large beads and has bracelets on her wrists. The interlaced  pattern on her arms may be a local style of scarification  and these decorative patterns that cover her body reflect her beauty and as noted by Drewal(1980:15) carry erotic overtones.   Facial features are carved with naturalistic detailing as are her pointed breasts. 


Recommended Reading:

R. F. Thompson: Black Gods and Kings: Yoruba Art at UCLA, (Los Angeles, 1971)

W. Fagg and J. Pemberton III: Yoruba Sculpture of West Africa, (New York, 1982)

 H. J. Drewal and J. Pemberton III, with R. Abiodun Yoruba: Nine Centuries of African Art and Thought, (New York, 1989)

I have examined this piece and agree with the description.
Niangi Batulukisi, PhD.