African art > Statues > Statue Mumuye
Statuette Mumuye / Chamba (N° 12839)
Belgian African art collection.
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It is in the region of north-eastern Nigeria, limited by the Benoué loop and the Cameroonian border, that the group of about 100,000 Mumuye live, mainly from agriculture. As the area was difficult to access, they remained relatively isolated until 1950. Their statuary was discovered around 1968. The Mumuye of Nigeria, like the Tiv, are organized into initiation societies staggered into age classes that take place for young boys in a box, tsafi, in which the statues are stored. They reinforce the prestige of their holder, but also participate in healing rituals, divination and ordalies. This figure has upper limbs spread out of the bust, hands leaning on the lower abdomen, legs spaced in the extension of the pelvis. These traits are generally found in statuary from the geographical area of central Nigeria, which has a variety of styles. The geometric design of the ears, the round eyes, the gaping mouth, the parallel scarifications in oblique, including those of the chest that have been abraded and polished by numerous manipulations and oily anointings, also recall certain elements distinguishing mumuye statues, although less stylized. Weather-altered, it enjoys a soft, light brown patina in which kaolin inlays, housed in the asperities of the surface, are still visible. Cracks and misses.
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|Estimated dating||circa 1960|
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