Lot: 241

Online Auction

Male shrine figure

Nigeria, Niger Delta, Urhobo / Ijaw

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
H: 20.9 inch 300 EUR
plus 27 % commission, VAT, transport and insurance

wood, pigments, rest.

The Urhobo believe that "edjo" spirits live in the surrounding nature. Figures called "edjo re akare" (i.e. "spirits in carved form") are believed to be the physical manifestation of these "edjo" spirits.

"Edjo" figures are usually life-size (or larger) and are depicted in the form of mythical warriors and female figures. They are kept in shrine houses "oguan redjo", where they form whole groups of figures together with smaller figures, their entourage.

To keep the spirits well content, the figures receive sacrifices.The community stages large annual festivals in honour of the "edjo", which include elaborate dances often accompanied by masquerade performances, lavish meals and extensive displays of wealth. Beforehand, they are traditionally painted.

Anderson, Martha G., Ways of the Rivers, Los Angeles 2002, p. 129, ill. E.7