About this artwork
Figure screens were made by the Kalabari to honor, memorialize, and communicate with deceased leaders of their trading or canoe houses. One would have formed part of an altar in a side room of a meetinghouse. Originating in the 19th century, when European commerce flourished in the Niger Delta, these screens may have been inspired by early portrait photographs. Here, the central figure representing the house leader wears a British top hat.
- Figure Screen (Duein Fubara)
- Made 1900–1940
- Wood, pigment, and fiber
- 101.6 × 69.9 × 20.3 cm (40 × 27 1/2 × 8 in.)
- Joanne M. and Clarence E. Spanjer Fund; purchased with funds provided by of Cynthia and Terry E. Perucca, Marshall Field V, and Lynn and Allen Turner funds; Mr. and Mrs. David B. Ross Endowment; Alsdorf Foundation