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

Igbo altar figure (N° 21245)

This naturalistic altar sculpture, allowing communication with the afterlife, features as a maternal figure one of the many female goddesses, the earth goddess Onilé ("owner of the House"), guarantor of longevity, peace, and resources, and linked to the powerful Ogboni society among the Yoruba Egba and Ijebu. It could also symbolize Orunmila , goddess of divination.
Intended to be enthroned on an altar, it was venerated by members of the powerful Ogboni, or Osugbo, society in charge of justice.
Matt crusty patina, very light pink ochre highlights. Missing.
Centered on the veneration of its gods, or orisà, the Yoruba religion relies on artistic sculptures with coded messages (aroko). The kingdoms of Oyo and Ijebu arose following the demise of the Ife civilization and still form the basis of the Yoruba political structure. The Oyo created two cults centered on the Egungun and Sango societies, still active, which worship their gods, the Orisa , through ceremonies using masks, statuettes, scepters, and divination media. The slave trade helped spread Yoruba beliefs across the continents.  

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OriginRécolté in-situ 1996
EthnyYoruba
Countrynigéria
Material(s)wood
Height107
Width24
Weight8.00 Kg

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