African art > Maternity > Statue Afo

Maternity figure Afo Okeshi (N° 18480)

Maternities afo have the particularity of having a flat chest evoking a sagging, on which are engraved scarifications in braces. Unusual representation of the two children: one is breastfed, the second on the back of the effigy is an older child. He wears a hairstyle similar to that of the mother, whose face also bears scarred patterns in checkerboards. Light brown orange patina. Many abrasions and erosions, lacks.


As unlike other solidly built afo maternity units, this room is thin and elongated. Long, arched arms hold a container at the top of the head while a child is grabbed on the back and has the same scarifications as his mother.

Afo are found north of the Bené and Niger rivers in Nigeria and are related to Idoma. Their statues okeshi, reserved for members of the association alanya beshi , are associated with periodic fertility rituals. They feature cimiers masks offering superstructures of stylized zoomorphic figures worn by musicians named ekpeshi .  

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OriginEx. collection Mercier
EthnyNigéria
Countrynigéria
Material(s)wood
Height51
Depth22
Width17
Weight2.55 Kg
Estimated dating1ère halfxx°

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