long rectangular body; lower 1/5 buried; chip carved diamond patterns throughout; carved facial and hair details; diamond shaped waist; rosettes depicting heart and umbilicus

Vigango, late 19th-early 20th century

Wood, pigmentexpand_more

The William Hood Dunwoody Fundexpand_more  97.75.2

Not on Viewexpand_more

This memorial figure honors a deceased relative, a male member of the Gohu Society. When a problem arose within the family or village, the spirit of a deceased relative who was a Gohu Society member would appear to a living relative in a dream. The spirit would mediate and remedy the problem by giving guidance to the dreamer. Two relatives would only appear when problems were severe. Elaborate social and religious rituals were conducted when a memorial was carved. Ceremonies accompanied the selection of the tree and the carving and the dedication process which included prayers and fasting. The figures were then erected together near the village, where the spirit of the ancestor could be cared for. The chip-carved triangular designs refer to scarification patterns that identify initiated members of the Gohu Society. The heart and umbilicus are symbolized by the rosette patterns, and designs representing a tribal hairstyle are carved on the back of the heads of these memorial figures.

Details
Title
Vigango
Role
Artist
Accession Number
97.75.2
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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long rectangular body; lower 1/5 buried; chip carved diamond patterns throughout; carved facial and hair details; diamond shaped waist; rosettes depicting heart and umbilicus