African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statue Chamba
Statue Chamba (N° 11310)
African art in Nigeria
Al geometric design, this rare female statue of African tribal art, covered with a thick cracked patina, features small, semi-folded lower limbs resting on a pedestal, a long bust with a protruding abdomen, and long arms slightly spread out of the body. The stylized and enigmatic face, and the summit crest, give it a supernatural appearance. Ancient beaded adornments on the ears and hips, and a brass torque around the neck, reinforce a femininity in relation to probable fertility rites. Geometric decorations of contrasting pigments include tribal scarifications, and thin lines on the headdress represent the fine braids of the ethnic group.
Installed since the 17th century on the southern shore of Benue in Nigeria, the Chamba have resisted attempts to conquer the Fulani, nomads who settled in large numbers in northern Nigeria. They are known for their famous buffalo mask with its two flat jaws extending the head. The less frequent statuary is admired by lovers of primitive forms.