vertical carved figural sculpture with slight lean in posture; rounded head with collar-like ring around neck; PR arm longer than PL arm; knot in wood in torso where bellybutton would be; slight platform around bottom; affixed to black metal stand through bottom

Figure, 1900-1950

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2020 Accession Highlight

Look at the grain of the wood: it almost looks like a different material. This eroded figure was kept outdoors for decades, to protect a village in the West African country of Togo. It represents a female ancestor of a clan of the Moba people, and villagers used it in the past as a focal point for sacrifices to ensure successful hunts and bountiful harvests. It was abandoned when the owners converted to either Christianity or Islam, two religions that view most traditional African beliefs and practices as pagan.

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vertical carved figural sculpture with slight lean in posture; rounded head with collar-like ring around neck; PR arm longer than PL arm; knot in wood in torso where bellybutton would be; slight platform around bottom; affixed to black metal stand through bottom