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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Yoruba Sculptures : Yoruba Altar Sculpture
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Yoruba Altar Sculpture - PF.5111
Origin: Southwestern Nigeria
Circa: 19 th Century AD to 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 21" (53.3cm) high x 10.5" (26.7cm) wide
Collection: African
Medium: Wood and Mixed Media

Location: United States
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Certain facial details and body posture of this sculpture suggests an affinity with the stone images of Esie. With slightly upraised arms bent at the elbow, determined expression and solid torso, the figure conveys a sense of physical strength and internal power. Cowrie shells are used for eyes and also on the necklace, the headdress is wrapped with white linen that hangs down the back. The breasts are pointed; the stomach protrudes noticeably suggesting a fertility connection. A vertical extension from the bottom was probably intended to attach onto a solid base. Taking into consideration the liberal use of valuable cowrie shells and the figures noble presence, this sculpture may have occupied an important place on an altar dedicated to one of the pantheon of Yoruba deities, or to ancestral worship. - (PF.5111)


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