Spirit vessel (Ngwarkandangra)
Late 20th century
Fowler Museum at UCLA. Museum Purchase. X2008.32.2
Living to the immediate west of the Ga’anda are the ‘Bəna peoples who share certain cultural practices with their neighbors. You will notice that these vessels bear a strong resemblance to Ga’anda Mbir’thleng’nda in their radically cantilevered heads and spiky texture. The ‘Bəna use them for curing skin ailments, the symptoms of which are revealed in the character of a vessel’s “skin.” Their style and usage reinforce the shared reservoir of ideas among peoples in the Upper Benue Valley.
Despite its resemblance to Ga’anda spirit vessels, this work has the elongated neck and plank-like beard support more typical of ‘Bəna healing vessels.
Source: Gallery Wall Text, Central Nigeria Unmasked: Arts of the Benue River Valley, 2011