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Kneeling Figure with Bowl

African Art

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Kneeling Figure with Bowl

Artwork Details

Artist/Maker

Yoruba Artist
Nigeria

Date

Nineteenth century

Medium

Wood

Accession #

2007.275

Dimensions

9 3/4 x 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches

Location

Currently Not on View

Description

The kneeling gift bearer is common on many altars because of its capacity to serve as a surrogate for the owner of an altar or the person who commissioned it. This example is unusual for its elongated form. Its kneeling pose communicates respect, courtesy, and supplication. When placed on an altar that represents the “outer head” of a Yoruba deity, the receptacles of kneeling figures such as this one are used to conceal natural objects signifying the “inner head” of a that deity.

Credit

Gift of Bernard and Patricia Wagner