You are here:

Male Figure (Ikenga)

Male Figure (Ikenga)

possibly early 1900s

Wood

Overall: 74.5 x 18 x 20 cm (29 5/16 x 7 1/16 x 7 7/8 in.)

Severance and Greta Millikin Purchase Fund 2015.72

Fun Fact

This figure associated with achievement and success would have received prayers and sacrifices in return for the guidance of ancestors.

Description

This seated figure of a man holding a cutlass and an inverted human skull is a cult object called ikenga, associated with achievement and success. Standing at the center of a man’s personal shrine, the sculpture receives prayers and sacrifices in return for the ancestors’ guidance. An elaborate headdress comprising two horn-like extensions reinforces the cult’s preoccupation with masculinity, while facial incisions known as ichi refer to membership in one of many male associations.

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

Contact us

Request a digital file from image services

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

Is something not working on this page? Please email help.website@clevelandart.org.