X91.338 Female shrine figure

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Female shrine figure
Urhobo peoples
Wood and pigment
H: 125 cm, W: 33 cm, D: 34 cm (H: 49.2 in, W: 12.9 in, D: 13.3 in)
Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Helen and Dr. Robert Kuhn. X91.338


Females may appear as secondary figures in male-centered shrines focusing on military prowess or as primary figures in female-centered shrines focusing on procreation. A nursing mother often represents the “wife” of a male spirit. The crownlike headgear worn by this figure gives her a regal appearance, and traces of red pigment may allude to her status as a new mother.

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. page 126