X92.78 Shrine sculpture

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Object Name: Shrine sculpture (izemize)

Artist: Unknown

Culture: Ishan peoples

Place of Origin: Nigeria

Date/Era: 19th-20th century

Dimensions: H: 201.0 cm, W: 70.0 cm, D: 13.0 cm (H: 79.1 in, W: 27.5 in, D: 5.1 in)

Medium/Materials: Wood, pigment, cloth, string, fiber, chalk

Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Jerome L. Joss.

Accession Number: X92.78

Description

This striking and unusual sculpture depicts a male figure standing between two snakes; above him a leopard attacks an antelope. It may have been a kind of architectural sculpture or a shrine announcing the importance of its owner. The positioning of the male figure in a threshold, empowered by his animal counterparts, makes a powerful statement about the liminality of human existence. The chalk and indigo on the surface are associated with the purity and coolness of the spirit world.

Source: Gallery text, Intersections: World Arts, Local Lives, 2006.

See also: Marla C. Berns, World Arts, Local Lives: The Collections of the Fowler Museum at UCLA. Fowler Museum, Los Angeles, 2014.

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