|Title||Igala Idoma Female Bird Figure Nigeria African Art|
|Type of Object||Carving, figure|
|Country of Origin||Nigeria|
|People||Igala or Idoma|
|Approximate Age||Second half 20th century|
|Dimensions||21.5 inches H. x 8.5 inches W. x 9 inches D.|
|Overall Condition||Fair to good. 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||Arrested bug damage, Large chunk missing from buttocks, cracks, chips, and a well worn patina|
Additional Information: An interesting stocky standing male figure. This figure comes from the Igala or Idoma people . This interesting sculpture shares a number of stylistic elements with a number of the small groups living in Northern Nigeria in the region of the confluence of the Niger and Benue Rivers. This is an area of mixed art and influences and shared sculptural styles as documented by Sieber where he notes an Idoma carver observing Igala sculptors at work and subsequently carving for both Igala and Idoma patrons. (Sieber 1961:9) In this area figures such as this were used as guardian spirits for children and for good luck, healing and prosperity.
The upper reaches of the Niger River at the confluence with the Benue River opens to broad grassy plains where the Igala people who number approximately 300,000 live and where in the past they had a strong kingdom. Today this kingdom is primarily ceremonial or ritualized with little real power. To complicate the matter the Igala also share a number of artistic traditions with their neighbors the Basa-Nge, Isoko, and Idoma, northern Igbo and a number of people living along the lower Niger.
Recommended Reading: Sieber, Roy. Sculpture of Northern Nigeria, 1961.
Sieber, R. and Tony Vevers. Interaction: the art styles of the Benue River and East Nigeria. 1974.
See also ""Dreams and Reverie: Images of Otherworld Mates Among the Baule, West Africa,"" by Ravenhill.