African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Iphri Urhobo Statue
Iphri Urhobo Statue (N° 12522)
Anthropomorphic composition, this African art object urhobo is formed of a character whose lower limbs are metamorphosed into a spiritual entity living in water, in the form of a mythical creature with gaping mouth.
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vertical parallel scarification on the forehead, and a vertical indigo-tinted band.The mouths aggressively reveal teeth cut in point.The headdress of the character would be inspired by the crowns of dignitaries of the old kingdoms. were usually kept on altars, and on rare occasions they were carried in crests during dances or ceremonies. The Urhobos, living near the northwestern Niger Delta River, form the main ethnic group of the Delta State among the 36 states of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. They speak Urhobo, a language of the Niger-Congo group. With Isoko whose art is close, they are collectively known as Sobo. Their large sculptures representing the spirits of nature, edjo, or founding ancestors of the clan, to which sacrifices were offered, were grouped together in sanctuaries within the villages. They also produce figures similar to Igbo ikenga called iphri, ivwri, half-animal half-human. They personify male aggression and are intended for warriors and notables. However after consultation with the diviner, young children can also wear, attached to the neck, iphri miniatures in the form of geometric amulets.
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|Estimated dating||circa 1970|
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