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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Ejagham statue

Ejagham / Ekoi /Boki fetish statue (N° 21521)

This female figure is a young Ejagham or Boki woman from western Cameroon adorned in her finery and tattooed for traditional dance. Her hairstyle illustrates one of the elaborate hair constructions of young girls marking the end of their period of initiation reclusion or in honor of festive ceremonies. This rare sculpture is distinguished, however, by its magical charge on the abdomen, in an orifice sealed with glass. Talismans in the form of shells, seeds and bags complete the whole.
The surface is impregnated with a dye, the residue of which forms a granular mottled patina.

Leopard societies, such as the male Kpe, Ngbe society among the Aro, were responsible for initiation ceremonies and funerals of association members, but also for celebrations surrounding agricultural rituals.
The hairstyle would represent that of the young women at the end of their traditional seclusions during which the Nkim dance was taught to them.
(Arts of Nigeria revisited, N. Barley)(Arts of Nigeria, 5Continents, A.Lebas) . Leopard societies, such as the male Kpe, Ngbe society among the Aro, used this crest pattern for initiation ceremonies or funerals of association members, but also during agricultural rituals. The headdress would represent that of young women at the end of their traditional seclusions during which the Nkim dance was taught to them. Other dance groups, such as the Ikem, still wore these masks in the 2000s. (Arts of Nigeria revisited, N. Barley)(Arts of Nigeria, 5Continents, A.Lebas) ("Africa", Ed. Prestel, T. Phillips)  

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OriginCollection P. Malisse
EthnyEjagham
Countrycameroun
Material(s)wood, perles, coquillages, textile
Height68
Width14
Weight2.00 Kg
Estimated datingrécolté in-situ 1999

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