Tribal art > African Statues > Urhobo Statue
Altar figure Urhobo Edjo (N° 18684)
Ex-collection Belgian African art.
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Female figure embodying an edjo, wearing royal finery and headdress. The statue presents great similarities with the igbo sculpture, but differs from it by the deep vertical facial scarification. Oiled wood with a satin touch, eroded, cracked surface. The head is coated with burgundy pigments. Very nice patina of use.
The Urhobos, living near the northwestern end of the Niger Delta River, are the main ethnic group in Delta State among the 36 states of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. They speak Urhobo, a language of the Niger-Congo group. Together with the Isoko, whose art is close by, they are collectively known as Sobo. Their large sculptures representing the spirits of nature, edjo , or the founding ancestors of the clan, to whom sacrifices were offered, were grouped together in shrines in the villages. They also produce figures similar to the ikenga of the Igbo called iphri, ivwri, which are half animal and half human. They personify male aggression and are intended for warriors and notables. However, after consultation with the diviner, young children can also wear miniature iphri in the form of geometric amulets attached to their necks.
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