Lot: 201

Standing female figure

Nigeria, Benue, Jukun

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
Jean-Michel Huguenin, Paris, France
Renaud Vanuxem, Paris, France
James Willis, San Francisco, USA (2008)
American private collection
H: 26 inch 30000 EUR / 50000 EUR

wood, metal, base This figure could be identified on a photograph by Arnold Rubin, which was taken on January 9, 1966. The photograph shows a group of five figures of the Akala, which were obtained from a rock cave near Gwana. It is extraordinary that the figures are known by name. According to local information, this female character is "Kai", who along with "Ayezi", accompanies a larger male figure called "Wipong". "Kai" and "Ayezi" are considered to be "Wipong's" wives. Jukun figures represent deceased chiefs, their wives and attendants because the chiefs are responsible for the rain, the fertility of the land and the security of the people. They therefore appear at rain or harvest ceremonies, as well as in cases of impending crisis. Like the Egyptian gods, they need to receive daily rituals when they are being fed and spoken to. The vicinity and influence of the Mumuye is stilistically obvious.


Berns Marla, Fardon R., Littlefield Kasfir S. (ed.), "Central Nigeria Unmasked: Arts of the Benue River Valley", Fowler Museum at UCLA, Los Angeles, 2011, p. 272 f., ill. 8.52 and ill. 8.53 Exhibited:

San Francisco, USA: "Tribal & Textile Arts Show. Fine art of native cultures", 8-10 February 2008

YALE: 0089633

ADHRC: 0096199