A Figure of a Kneeling Woman with Offering Bowl, Nigeria 


                                                             A Figure of a Kneeling Woman with Offering Bowl
                                                                    Olumeye Yoruba society, Nigeria. Wood.
                                                                        Fowler Museum of Cultural History


A kneeling women holds an Ifa divination Kola nut bowl in the the shape of a chicken. Decorative detail is kept to a minumum revealing a smooth surface and traces of the carvers tool, such a quality suggests vitality. Her youthful body, stylization of her hair, posture of her offering, and self-contained composure of her face reveals her inner beauty, inun, in Yoruba language . Kneeling suggests a relationship to a higher force. The attitude of kneeling is idealized, the face is impassive, the arms are strong and calm, and the head and trunk are held erect. The heads of the figures are large and oval.  The chicken represents the mother in a transformed state. Mothers shown carrying children suggest a long period of sexual abstinence as well as supressed menustration, suggesting purity and cleanliness, a pleasing female attribute. The child on the mothers back holds a Shango dance wand in one hand and a rattle in the other. On the mothers back is a Islamic charm tirah, a protective amulet, suggesting the northern Oyo in this work. Kola nut, obi , were given to the Kings as an act of hospitality. (Pemberton)

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