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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Masterpieces of African Art : African Art / Ibibio Wooden Polychrome Sign Post
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African Art / Ibibio Wooden Polychrome Sign Post - PF.5409
Origin: Southeastern Nigeria
Circa: 20th th Century AD
Dimensions: 36.75" (93.3cm) high x 15" (38.1cm) wide
Collection: African
Medium: Wood and Paint

Location: United States
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A large horned head surmounts a long post that flares out towards the base. An oval face reveals stylistic traits typical of Ibibio sculpture, with its arching eyebrows like canopies over the bulging eyes, a very long pointed nose, and a grinning mouth exposing two rows of fine teeth with the lips painted black. Under the chin are five rows of thick bands, which, along with the sets of relief circles next to the ears, most probably represent decoration. The hair is composed of nine black bands widening from the top of the head to the neck, each with incised vertical rectangles simulating braided hair. On the forehead is a long vertical line in relief intersected by an X in the center. Most striking are the thick curving horns and the white paint on the face. The base (showing traces of pigment) was originally fitted into a wooden platform wedged in the ground, hence the holes on the lower portion. Such signposts as this remarkable example are erected to notify strangers they are entering the boundaries of Ibibio territory. - (PF.5409)


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