Male Figure (Primary Title)

Unknown (Artist)

late 19th–early 20th century or earlier
Nigeria,possibly Gagi village
Overall: 24 1/2 × 7 7/8 × 6 3/4 in. (62.23 × 20 × 17.15 cm)
This sculpture, with its cantilevered head, projecting stomach, ear ornaments, and braided beard, closely resembles two other Jukun figures that were revered as protectors of the village of Gagi. Those figures were dressed with cloth and their heads ornamented with feathers. They were placed in terracotta bowls inside a small thatched hut. According to radiocarbon testing, one of these statues dates from the 15th to the 17th century. Based on its comparable erosion from age and insects, the figure here is probably from the same period. A further common characteristic of the three is the nearly featureless face, a surface for periodic repainting of details.
From the Robert and Nancy Nooter Collection, Adolph D. and Wilkins C. Williams Fund
Nigéria, Arts de la vallée de la Bénoué, Musée du Quai Branly, Nov 2012-Jan 2013
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

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