African art > Black iron objects, black iron masks > Igbo Iron

Ofo Igbo ritual sculpture (N° 17670)

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Ofo sculptures, mediating objects in African art
. This sculpture named Ofo (from the name of the tree in which it was made) has a face haloed by a large crest. Its base forms three spirals. The wooden bust is trimmed with metal rods and ribbons, some of them in coiled patterns. A rare and symbolic piece held by an elder named N'dichie , and associated with the agnatic lineage, on which an oath was sometimes taken, this black iron object was displayed in Igbo homes and altars. The Igbo live in the forest in southeastern Nigeria. This tradition later spread to neighboring ethnic groups. Based on a botanical sculpture from a "male" tree, and composed of brittle twigs, images of boys dependent on their father and then becoming detached from him, this object is part of a type of realizations (skeuomorphs) of the Nigerian culture, made in a different material than the original model. Source: arts of Nigeria,Nigel Barley.  

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OriginEx-collection française
EthnyIgbo
Countrynigéria
Material(s)alliage de copper
Height76
Width19
Weight4.16 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xxème
Socle includedYes

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