African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Yoruba figure
Yoruba Olumèye cup bearer (N° 21799)
Sculpture depicting a priestess or a follower, with a face marked with vertical "kpele" scarifications. Her body displays traditional tribal markings.
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Chipped polychrome patina. Rift.
Yoruba society has several associations whose roles vary. While egbe male society strengthens social norms, aro unites farmers. gelede has more esoteric and religious aims. The notables meet in a society called esusu . Offering cups, some of which were used to keep kola nuts or other gifts for visitors, were once placed in royal palaces in the Ekiti and Igbomina regions of Yoruba country.
The kingdoms of Oyo and Ijebu were born following the disappearance of the Ifé civilization and are still the basis of the political structure of the Yoruba . The Oyo created two cults centered on the Egungun and Sango societies, still active, who worship their gods, the Orisa , through ceremonies call for masks, statuettes, scepters and divination supports.
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