African art > Statues > Statue Mumuye
Statue Lagana Mumuye (N° 11601)
The work of iron in the middle Benoué.Among the diversity of mumuye statues, varying according to the villages, certain characteristics emerge however: an extremely pure morphology, elongated, and a relative absence of ornamentation. The arms frequently detach from the bust, bent in this case, and an arch stylization of the lower limbs is often noted. The round head, proportionally small, has a face with sketchy features, a neutral face, and a single hollowed-out eyeball. The barely distinct reminder of ethnic scarifications results in many parallel incisions of the bust and headdress. The headdress, flanked by wide ears side panels framing a neck stretched like a column, would rather evoke a warrior helmet. Iron patinated. It is in the northeastern region of Nigeria, limited by the Benoué Loop and the Cameroonian border, that live, mainly from agriculture, the group of about 100,000 Mumuye. As the area was difficult to access, they remained relatively isolated until 1950. Their statuary was discovered around 1968. The Mumuye, like the Tiv, are organized into initiation societies staggered into age classes and take place for young boys in a hut, tsafi , in which the statues are stored. They enhance the prestige of their holder, but also participate in healing, divination and ordalies rituals.
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