Stylistic similarities between this figure and those
from the much early period of Nok (600 BC - 200
AD), suggest a continuous tradition of artistic
form and religious belief. Distinctive Yoruba
features evident in the wide span of their art are
apparent in this sculpture--principally the large
bulbous eyes, broad face and heavy cheeks. The
figure is highly compact in the sense the hands
are pressed tightly together over the abdomen,
legs tucked underneath, knees pressed together,
exposed genitals placed precisely in the center.
A hieratic (sacerdotal) pose is thus created and
heightened by the intensely staring eyes and the
very human, yet other worldly feeling from the
figure. Intended to be placed on an altar,
dedicated to a deity/deities, or ancestral
worship, the back of the sculpture may have
been intentionally flattened to be flush against a
wall as a permanent element of the altar statuary.
The belief that ancestors play an active role as
spiritual benefactors for the living gains concrete
expression in this powerful sculpture.