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A Fine Old Mumuye Figure Benue River Valley Region Nigeria Africa


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Collection No. TB-3912
Size Height 56cm
A Fine Old Mumuye Figure Benue River Valley Region Nigeria Africa
A Fine Old Mumuye Figure Benue River Valley Region Nigeria Africa
A Fine Old Mumuye Figure Benue River Valley Region Nigeria Africa
A Fine Old Mumuye Figure Benue River Valley Region Nigeria Africa
A Fine Old Mumuye Figure Benue River Valley Region Nigeria Africa
A Fine Old Mumuye Figure Benue River Valley Region Nigeria Africa
A Fine Old Mumuye Figure Benue River Valley Region Nigeria Africa
A Fine Old Mumuye Figure Benue River Valley Region Nigeria Africa
A Fine Old Mumuye Figure Benue River Valley Region Nigeria Africa
A Fine Old Mumuye Figure Benue River Valley Region Nigeria Africa
A Fine Old Mumuye Figure Benue River Valley Region Nigeria Africa
A Fine Old Mumuye Figure Benue River Valley Region Nigeria Africa

A Fine Old Mumuye Figure Benue River Valley Region Nigeria Africa

This fine older and used Mumuye Figure is from the Benue River Valley Region of Nigeria Africa. This figure does not depict ancestors but rather incarnates tutelary spirits. The figures have many functions both ceremonial and used by traditional healers.  I just like the strong sculptural form of this beautiful figure.

These bold forms of Mumuye Sculpture appeared alongside modern Western artworks in William Rubin’s 1984 exhibition at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, ‘Primitivism’ in Twentieth-Century Art, and again when the theme of juxtaposition was reprised exactly a quarter-century later in the Fondation Beyeler’s own Visual Encounters: Africa, Oceania, and Modern Art.8 Premonitions of modern masters of Western art have been sensed in these two brooding columns, as they have also been in the mass of the female figure in the British Museum that attracted Henry Moore, or the very different slender elongated figures that put viewers in mind of Alberto Giacometti. Because they are at once ‘authentic’ and exceptional, atypical of West African conventions, the Mumuye are among the most widely reproduced and frequently referenced West African artworks.

I have almost no experience in African Art but over the years I bought some African Artworks based solely on their form and to see how they look and fit in with my Oceanic Art collection.  This figure I liked the very first time I saw it.

Provenance: The Todd Barlin Collection of Oceanic and African Art

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