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A Male Yorba Fetish Figure, Wood, Nigeria, Early 20th C

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Directory: Vintage Arts: Regional Art: African: Sculpture: Pre 1930: Item # 609953

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

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$200.00 #30

A Male Yorba Fetish Figure, Wood, Nigeria, Early 20th C
A Male Yorba Fetish Figure, Wood, Nigeria, Africa, Early 20th Century #30

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 male fetish figure’s body proportions are not to scale. This is the aesthetic preferred by the Yorba. The head and hairdo consume almost half of the composition. The hairdo is in a pointed conical shape; this may also suggest royalty due to the similar shape of royal crowns. The figure’s face displays eyes modeled after cowrie shells. The figure’s face and abdomen are adorned with scarification patterns. The male figure stands upon a pediment as to show a divine figure’s feet do not touch the ground.

Size: 9 1/2” in height and, 2 1/2” at its widest

Condition: Good, ware is due to original ritual practices, palm oil residue, wood is split

Price: $200.00 #30

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