Nigeria Standing male figure with arms to sides and with cowrie (Cypraea moneta) shells attached to the skirt and as a necklace; he wears a cap and has iron knife yielding from waist; inlaid mica eyes.
Height: 37 1/2 in (92.5 cm) H + custom base
Ex Allan Stone Collection. Ex Sothebys NY: The Collection of Allan Stone: African, Oceanic, and Indonesian Art Volume One 15 November 2013, New York lot 77.
The Ijo live all along the coast of the Niger River Delta. According to Anderson (in Anderson and Peek 2002: 91), "ethnographic record confirms that the Ijo and their closest neighbors - including the Isoko, Itsekiri, and Urhobo - were warlike peoples." As a result, much of Ijo statuary revolves around the theme of mythical warfare and warriors. And Anderson (loc. cit.: 105) continues: the "Ijo hold that human beings befriend, marry, and even bear children with nature spirits while awaiting birth in the creator's realm. These spirits may later follow their human friends or family members to earth in order to demand offerings or images. [...] Although Ijo say bush spirits resemble them more closely than water spirits, they often describe them as ugly, unkempt creatures. Many also exhibit physical abnormalities; as one diviner explained, the most powerful people in the bush are disfigured or disabled, for those conditions make them proud and extremely irritable."
Fine and old example.
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