Lot: 275

85th Tribal Art Auction

Pair of figures

Nigeria, Mbembe/Boki

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
H: 13.4 inch/ 13.8 inch 2500 EUR
plus 21 % commission, VAT, transport and insurance

wood, slightly encrusted brown patina, nearly identical in posture and coiffure, two smaller figures carved on the back of each figure, dam., missing parts through insect caused damage (lower parts of the bodies missing), cracks, base; the Mbembe people live in the Ogoja province, along the banks of the middle Cross River and Awayong creek. The men of the village belong to two important associations, one of which is secular - "okowa" - and the other ritual - "ocheika". The Mbembe believe in the Surpreme Being - "ibinokpabi" - but they also whorship their ancestors "afranong". The "afranong" can only be contacted through the intermediary of spiritual beings "oka". The wooden figures were hidden in the homesteads and worshipped privately by individual families.