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Yoruba Kneeling Bowl Bearer Nigeria African Art 25 Inch

Regular Price: $950.00

Special Price: $650.00

Product #: 113522
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Title Yoruba Kneeling Bowl Bearer Nigeria African Art 25 Inch
Type of Object Carving, Figure, Statue, Sculpture
Country of Origin Nigeria
People Yoruba
Materials Wood and Pigment
Approximate Age Mid 20th Century
Dimensions Height: 23 Inches
Width: 10 Inches
Depth: 15 Inches
25 inches tall on stand (removable); base is 11.5 x 8 inches
Overall Condition poor
Damage/Repair cracks, hole in base, chips on crest and base. scraped, chipped pigment

This figure was part of a previous collection, from Chicago, however we do not have further information on its provinance. 

Additional Information: A delicately carved Yoruba figure of a keeling female carrying a bowl.  Her skin is intricately decorated with Yoruba scarification patterns, and her tall dark headcrest is a defining feature. 

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)