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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Archive : Pair of Ibo Wooden Shrine Figures
Pair of Ibo Wooden Shrine Figures - FF.300
Origin: Nigeria
Dimensions: 74" (188.0cm) high
Collection: African Art
Medium: Wood

Additional Information: SOLD

Location: United States
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These monumental sculptures were created by the Ibo tribe that inhabits a region in Southeastern Nigeria.. Originally, they would have been placed within a shrine, either as freestanding idols or as supports for the building structure. Similar figures either represent tutelary gods or deceased ancestors whom were believed to play an active role in the daily lives of their descendants from beyond the grave. In either case, they personify the forces of life over which we have no control or comprehension. Their high-ranking status within the Ibo society can be ascertained not only from their tremendous stature but also from the elegant jewelry that decorates their body. Much as medals signify the rank of a military leader, jewelry and bodily scarification was reflective of your place within the tribal hierarchy of many African peoples. The thick collar bracelets and anklets that adorn both figures, as well as their Coiffure, reveal their nobility. Their elite status is further enforced by the scarifications present on their bodies. Most likely, this pair represents a benevolent royal couple memorialized in the form of these painted wooden statues so that they might continue to rule from beyond. Their prestige and benevolence are also dictated by the forms of the sculpture. The fantastically exaggerated breasts of the female figure reveal her fertile nature. Her spirit will continue to nurture the villagers even after her death. . The colorful paint applied to the sculptures reveals the respect and admiration that the villagers paid this royal couple. These massive sculptures tower over us like spiritual guardians guiding our course through life. - (FF.300)


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