Object Name: Post from a meeting-house
Culture: Urhobo peoples
Place of Origin: Nigeria
Date/Era: Mid-20th century
Dimensions: H: 191.6 cm, W: 25.4 cm
Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of William Lloyd Davis and the Rogers Family Foundation.
Accession Number: X81.1569
The Isoko and Urhobo make posts for their meeting houses in a similar style, but they offer different reasons for doing so. The Isoko claim that their posts serve a decorative function, but for the Urhobo, they reportedly serve as ancestral images (eshe). The crocodiles and other reptiles on Urhobo posts refer to animal counterparts of the ancestor who travel between the worlds of the living and the dead.
Source: Anderson, Martha G. and Peek, Philip M. ed. (2002), Ways of the Rivers: Arts and Environment of the Niger Delta, Los Angeles, UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History, 19.
See also: Marla C. Berns, World Arts, Local Lives: The Collections of the Fowler Museum at UCLA. Fowler Museum, Los Angeles, 2014.