Female Figure with Rooster (Olumeye)

A work made of wood, pigment, glass beads, and thread.

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  • A work made of wood, pigment, glass beads, and thread.

Date:

Late 19th/early 20th century

Artist:

Attributed to Obembe Alaiye (active late 19th/early 20th century) or Agbonbiofe (died 1945)
Yoruba
Nigeria
Coastal West Africa

About this artwork

This container in the form of a kneeling woman holding a rooster was made to hold kola nuts, which are shared with guests as a gesture of hospitality. The sculpture’s surface is rubbed with bluing powder, a 19th-century laundry aid used to prevent white clothes from yellowing. The color blue carries a special significance for the Yoruba. It is associated with water, water deities, and a unique sense of cool that combines qualities such as purity, discretion, and composure. A surprise awaits anyone who opens the container’s lid—a dense coating of bluing powder saturates the bowl’s interior.

Currently Off View

Arts of Africa

Artists

, Obembe Alaiye , Yoruba (Culture)

Title

Female Figure with Rooster (Olumeye)

Places

Nigeria (Object made in), Africa (Object made in)

Date

1875-1925

Medium

Wood, pigment, glass beads, and thread

Dimensions

40.1 × 31.1 × 22.8 cm (16 × 12 1/4 × 9 in.)

Credit Line

Ada Turnbull Hertle Fund

Reference Number

1977.493

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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