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Yoruba Kneeling Bowl Bearer Rooster Lid Olumeye Nigeria African Art

Product #: 116686
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Title Yoruba Kneeling Bowl Bearer Rooster Lid Olumeye Nigeria African Art
Type of Object Sculpture
Country of Origin Nigeria
People Yoruba
Materials Wood and Pigment
Approximate Age 20th Century
Dimensions Height: 20 Inches
Width: 13.5 Inches
Depth: 9.5 Inches
Overall Condition poor. 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 many chips, cracks and scrapes

Additional Information: A delicately carved Yoruba figure of a keeling female holding a bowl.  As is customary, she wears an ornate necklace and wrist jewelry and has a tall, exquisite headdress.  The bowl has a zoomorphic lid in the form of a chicken or roster.  The surface has been painted with several tones of pigment and shows significant 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) 

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)

CT 8/17