Male Figurine or Finial

Male Figurine or Finial

early 1800s-early 1900s

Wood

Overall: 9.7 x 3.8 x 3.3 cm (3 13/16 x 1 1/2 x 1 5/16 in.)

René and Odette Delenne Collection, Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 2010.436

Fun Fact

The stomach cavity was once filled with medicinal substances; once removed, the nkisi figure is considered “decommissioned.”

Description

This figurine or finial may have contained a medicine-filled package on its abdomen. The man seated with his legs crossed and wearing a coiffure of Portuguese inspiration may represent a chief, which was once attached to a scepter or perhaps a flywhisk. Beneath the chief, a child holds onto his back; though such imagery is more typically seen with female sculptures.

See also
Collection: 
African Art
Department: 
African Art
Type of artwork: 
Wood
Medium: 
Wood

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