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Male Figure

A work made of wood, chalk, and pigment.

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  • A work made of wood, chalk, and pigment.

Date:

Early/mid–20th century

Artist:

Ijo
Nigeria
Coastal West Africa

About this artwork

Though the Ijo describe forest spirits as hideous and volatile, in sculpture they are rendered as invincible warriors with wide-eyed stares and bare teeth. This elongated figure may have held a weapon in its missing hand. A large medicine gourd hangs from his neck. The white and red pigments applied to its surface symbolize the contrast of coolness and aggression, respectively. Such spirit figures were placed on altars dedicated to clan war gods where rituals were performed.

On View

Arts of Africa, Gallery 137

Culture

Ijo

Title

Male Figure

Origin

Nigeria

Date

1901–1975

Medium

Wood, chalk, and pigment

Dimensions

153.7 × 24.1 × 19.1 cm (60 1/2 × 9 1/2 × 7 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Richard Faletti, the Faletti Family Collection

Reference Number

2000.321

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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