Yoruba polychrome maternity wood figure
African Art Tribal Art
This female tribal altar art sculpture features well-preserved polychromy.
She is depicted sitting in a seat on a circular base. Facilitating communication with the sacred, it reminds the deity of its duties to men. Through the child she holds onto her lap, she symbolizes the protection of her people and fertility. This figure can be interpreted also as mother nature feeding and protecting the tribe.
Wearing a high crest, she also wears the three deep keloids of the Yoruba nobles on each of the cheeks. The globular eyes, fleshy lips, are also distinctive markers of Yoruba tribal statuary. Her attire, earrings, reflect her social rank.
Sensible, a matte, grainy patina covers the wood, which is desiccated due to cracking.
The Yoruba engaged in the slave trade with the Europeans and in particular the Portuguese before being completely suberised to the English following a long period of infighting between the various kings or oba in place. The main Yoruba cults are the cults Gélus, Epa, Ogboni, and the cult Esu, through which a very wide variety of deities are involved.
Title: Yoruba polychrome maternity wood figure - Nigeria - African Art Tribal Art
Type: Figure, maternity, statue
Date/Period: Mid 20th century
Dimension: 10.24" height
Weight: 1.76 lbs
Note: Stand not included
Acquisition: Private collection via NYC gallery