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.
- , Obembe Alaiye , Yoruba (Culture)
- Female Figure with Rooster (Olumeye)
- Nigeria (Object made in), Africa (Object made in)
- Wood, pigment, glass beads, and thread
- 40.1 × 31.1 × 22.8 cm (16 × 12 1/4 × 9 in.)
- Ada Turnbull Hertle Fund