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Tribal art > African Statues > Statue Urhobo
Urhobo Shrine Figure (N° 16331)
The Urhobos, living near the northwest 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. With the Isoko whose art is close, they are collectively known as Sobo. Their large sculptures depicting the spirits of nature, edjo, or the founding ancestors of the clan, to which sacrifices were offered, were grouped in sanctuaries within the villages. They also produce figures similar to the igbo ikenga called iphri, ivwri, half-animal, half-human. They personify male aggression and are intended for warriors and notables. However, after consultation with the soothsayer, young children can also wear miniature iphri strapped to their necks in the form of geometric amulets.
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This statue of an edjo's wife has great similarities to igbo sculpture, but stands out for its deep vertical facial scarifications, shown here by polychrome pigments. The surface of the wood is also covered with white clay, locally chipped.
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