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A Female Yorba Fetish Figure, Wood, Nigeria, 20th Cent.

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Directory: Vintage Arts: Regional Art: African: Sculpture: Pre 1930: Item # 608201

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Mitchell Sotka, Ltd.
19071 Old Detroit Road
Rocky River, OH 44116
(440) 333-1735

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$225.00 #40

A Female Yorba Fetish Figure, Wood, Nigeria, 20th Cent.
A Female Yorba Fetish Figure, Wood, Nigeria, Africa, Early 20th Century #40

The Yorba people of modern day Nigeria and Benin utilized such small wooden figures or fetishes as a part of their belief system. Fetish figures may represent one of their pantheon gods, called orisha. Such a figure might also represent an ancestor. Many African religions like the Yorba’s tradition are centered on ancestor worship. This piece may have been originally part of a pair, as an ibeji or twin figure. All such works were originally carved from a light colored wood that was treated over time with palm oil. This treatment revealed a deep, dark and, semi-gloss finish. The act of oiling was apart of the worship process. Also apart of the figures’ worship were food, jewelry and, libation offerings. These rituals kept the spirit of the represented figure appeased. The female fetish figure’s body proportions are not to scale. This is the aesthetic preferred by the Yorba. The head and headpiece consume one third of the composition. The headpiece is in a pointed conical shape; this may also suggest royalty due to the similar shape of royal crowns. The face of the figure displays eyes modeled after cowrie shells. The face shows scarification patterns. The body is squat and short. The figure’s curvy body shape suggests homage to fertility. This figure stands upon a pediment as to show a divine figure’s feet do not touch the ground.

Size: 11” in height and, 2 1/2” at its widest

Condition: Good, ware due to original worship practices

Price: $225.00 #40



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