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Early 20th C. Nigerian Isoko Oma Female Figure

West Africa, Nigeria, Isoko people, ca. early to mid 20th century CE. A hand-carved wooden Oma figure, representing a standing pregnant woman with a tall, crested headdress. The surface is painted with white and blue pigment, some traces of which remain. A piece like this was created to serve an apotropaic function - kept upon an altar, imbued with libations, blessed, and sometimes paraded through the village. Works like this example are linked to the ancestors, but rarely in a specific manner. Instead their sculptural pieces tend to idealize feminine or masculine qualities. Size: 4.5" W x 19.35" H (11.4 cm x 49.1 cm); 20.15" H (51.2 cm) on included custom stand.

See a similar example sold at Christie's, Paris, in 2011 for approximately US $2500: https://www.christies.com/lotfinder/Lot/statuette-isoko-oma-nigeria-5520166-details.aspx

Condition: Small surface cracks, mostly on the right hand (facing) side of the body. Deposits on surface.

Provenance: ex-Adeon Gallery, Chicago, Illinois, USA, acquired prior to 1970

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