African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statue Yoruba
Yoruba polychrome maternity figure (N° 19946)
This sculpture of African tribal art was destined to be enthroned on an altar. Facilitating communication with the sacred, it reminds the divinity of its duties towards men. The child she holds on her lap symbolizes protection and fertility. Wearing a high crest, she sports the keloids of the Yoruba nobles. The bulging eyes, fleshy lips, are also distinctive markers of Yoruba tribal statuary.
Misses on the base. Scabby patina locally flaked. Desiccation cracks.
The Yoruba practiced the slave trade with the Europeans and in particular the Portuguese before being completely subjugated to the British following a long period of infighting between the various kings or oba in power.
The main Yoruba cults are the Gélédé , Epa , Ogboni , and the Esu cult, through which a very wide variety of deities are involved.
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