Male Figure

Male Figure

mid 1800s-early 1900s

probably carved by Ateu Atsa

(African)

Wood

Overall: 92.1 x 20.3 cm (36 1/4 x 8 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1987.62

Description

Adorned with royal attire consisting of a cap, beaded necklace, folded loincloth, and drinking horn, this figure was carved as a commemorative portrait of a historical king or high dignitary. It was kept by a secret association called Lefem, whose members gathered weekly in a sacred space in the forest to discuss matters related to the welfare of the kingdom. Standing in a royal shrine, the figure witnessed sacrifices made to the skulls of the chief’s ancestors. Meant to safeguard the kingdom and protect the fecundity of its inhabitants, it was also exhibited during funerals and royal ceremonies.

Video

The Surface
The Surface
Who might have made this?
Who might have made this?
See also
Collection: 
African Art
Department: 
African Art
Type of artwork: 
Sculpture
Medium: 
Wood

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