Africa Direct
Africa Direct

Yoruba Shrine Piece Male Figure African

AvailabilityIn stock
Special Price $122.00 Regular Price $195.00
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Title Yoruba Shrine Piece Male Figure African
Type of Object Carving, Statue, Sculpture, Figure
Country of Origin Nigeria or Benin (Dahomey)
People Yoruba
Materials Wood, remnants of pigment, nails and White Clay
Approximate Age mid 20th century
Height (in) 12.25
Width (in) 4
Dimensions Height: 12.25 Inches
Width: 4 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 Large cracks, broken base, arms, and extensive wear.

Additional Information: This relic like figure has seen long service in a shrine from the evidence of the surface and accumulation of clay and pigment. The left hand and arm is extended and most likely held a carved cup. The left arm was also repaired being held into place with nails indicating the age and importance to its owner that it appears to continue to have been used on a shrine even after the figure was damaged and worn through use.

Among the Yoruba people of Nigeria an intricate combination of myth and religion explains history, categorizes natural phenomenon and describes various deities known as “orishas” who form a complex religion with many different faces and an equally complex set of images. Shango is known as the “Thunder God” who caused lightening to flash and was responsible for the many early stone tools (era edun) found in the region that people believed fell to the earth when Shango cast lightening bolts downwards to earth. Eshu (Esu) manipulates creative energies, communicates with the gods, and embraces secret knowledge. He can become invisible, appear in an instant, and mystify us by her actions or appearance.

Recommended Readings:

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

Drewal, H.J., J. Pemberton, R. Abiodun, “Yoruba; Nine Centuries of African Art and Thought”. 1989.

Daniel Mato and Chelsea Cooksey, YORUBA: ART OF LIFE. The Bennett-Luther Collection)