Gift of funds from Robert J. Ulrich and Diane Sillikexpand_more 2019.43
This house post was carved by one of Nigeria’s most famous early 20th-century Yoruba artists, Dada Areogun. Areogun is a shortened form of Areogun-yanna, Dada’s praise name that he acquired because of his talents. It literally means “one who makes money with the tools of Ogun and spends it liberally”—a reference to Ogun, the Yoruba deity of iron and the patron god of all professions that use metal tools, including carvers.
The post depicts the strength and nurturing power of women. It shows a woman seated on a stool, holding an infant on her lap and carrying a child on her back. The woman’s coiffure supports a flat post that served as a structural element under the beam of a ceiling or a veranda.
This Yoruba house post is visually striking, due to its size, mass, and elaborate carving. The details of the four figures are remarkable. It is carved by a known and renowned artist, Dada Areogun, and thus joins a small but growing corpus of traditional African objects whose makers are known by name or identified as a workshop. It also complements the massive palace door by the Areogun that Mia acquired in 2003.
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