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This shrine figure depicts a nature spirit (edjo) in the form of a mythic, victorious warrior and community founder. The warrior's swelling chest and forehead, forceful gaze, jutting jaw and bared teeth express male aggression and the region's warrior ethos. The medicine-filled gourd held in his hand ensures military success, while facial scarification, massive ivory cuffs and beads about his neck and shoulders signify titled authority. Originally wearing a white wrapper, this founding warrior and his family formed a tableaux of edjo shrine figures encrusted with white chalk denoting spiritual purity and the luminous ancestral realm.

Details

  • Title: Male Shrine Figure
  • Date Created: Early 20th century
  • Physical Dimensions: h1244.6 in
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Rights: Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust through the George H. and Elizabeth O. Davis Fund, Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust through the George H. and Elizabeth O. Davis Fund
  • Medium: Wood and pigment
  • Culture: Urhobo peoples

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