|Title||Igbo Female Shrine Figure Nigeria Custom Stand Africa 38 Inch|
|Type of Object||Carving, Figure, Statue, Sculpture|
|Country of Origin||Nigeria|
|Materials||Wood, pigment, clay|
|Approximate Age||20th century|
|Overall Condition||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||Cracks, chips and a well worn patina, damaged feet|
Additional Information: This standing figure painted in white with a wonderfully scarified body and an elaborate haistyle comes from the Igbo people who live in the south-eastern part of Nigeria north of the great Delta of the Niger River. This is a representation of Alusi.
Igbo beliefs system includes a number of deities known as alusi, who represent abstract forces of nature as well as physical places such as rivers. The alusi spirits symbolize principles of good and evil as well as ancestors and culture heroes who insure the well being of the family and village. They are given form as sculpted human figures and kept in cult shrines where they are ritually addressed and given offerings to insure their good will to insure that crops grow, babies are born and people will conduct themselves in a moral and socially appropriate manner. Sculptures will often have their bodies repainted on the cult day of the shrine and in some instances clothed by women as they celebrate the spirit and the venerated ancestors. appropriate manner. There are a number of sub-styles of Igbo carving and it is often difficult to determine which village was the place of origin for the figures.
Further Reading: Cole, H.M. and C. C. Aniankor,’ Igbo Arts, Community and Cosmos. 1984