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Mid-20th C. African Igbo Wood Seated Ikenga Figure

Western Africa, Nigeria, Igbo peoples, ca. mid 20th century CE. A tall carved wooden anthropomorphic depiction of a warrior figure with twin horns extending upwards from its head. This example of an Ikenga (or personal shrine figure) rests on a stool with spread legs atop an integral discoid plinth, and is covered in a sumptuous brown-hued pigment. One bent arm holds a large knife and the other a human head or face mask. The figure has a tubular body and thick neck, and the face exhibits expressive features such has a blocky nose, square jaw-line, and circular eyes. In Igbo society, the Ikenga is a ritual object that symbolizes masculine strength as well as the ability to achieve great things using one's own efforts. Size: 15.2" H (38.6 cm).

Condition: Age-commensurate surface wear, with small chips and nicks to horns, back of head, body, feet, and base. Fading and chips to brown pigmentation, with a few stable fissures to body, otherwise intact and very good. Nice earthen deposits throughout.

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

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