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Shrine Figure (a-Tshol, Elëk, or ma-Tshol)

A work made of wood.

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  • A work made of wood.

Date:

Late 19th/early 20th century

Artist:

Baga or Nalu
Guinea
Coastal West Africa

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.

On View

Arts of Africa, Gallery 137

Culture

Baga

Title

Shrine Figure (a-Tshol, Elëk, or ma-Tshol)

Origin

Guinea

Date

1875–1925

Medium

Wood

Dimensions

58.7 × 26.7 × 80.1 cm (23 1/8 × 10 1/2 × 31 3/4 in.)

Credit Line

Restricted gift of Mrs. Chauncey Borland; through prior gift of Mr. Raymond J. Wielgus

Reference Number

1962.474

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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