About this artwork
Among the culturally related Baga and Nalu peoples, figures combining bird and human features were the most revered objects in shrines dedicated to protecting kin. The name for one changes according to who is using it, but always means “medicine.” Together with other protective medicines in the shrine, these objects were invested with supernatural powers. On important occasions, bird-human figures are placed upon a man’s head and performed.
- Shrine Figure (a-Tshol, Elëk, or ma-Tshol)
- 58.7 × 26.7 × 80.1 cm (23 1/8 × 10 1/2 × 31 3/4 in.)
- Restricted gift of Mrs. Chauncey Borland; through prior gift of Mr. Raymond J. Wielgus