A large puppet figure from the border region of Benin (formerly Dahomey) to Nigeria. Such large puppets – also made entirely of wood – can be found among the Nago, close relatives of the Nigerian Yoruba, in the area of the city of Takon in the country of Benin. They are related to the well-known 'Gelede' women's and mother’s cult. This piece, made of wood and textile, has a large, expressive head on a long neck. The face, ears, back of head and neck are coloured red, the hair and eyes in light yellow-brown. The puppet is “clothed” with a shirt and skirt made from locally woven, old fabrics over an elaborate structure made of wooden rods and plates. The shirt is dark indigo blue, with red and white stripes and reddish brown embroidery. The attached skirt is sand-coloured with woven, like-coloured stripes. The puppet additionally wears a scarf and a necklace of light blue glass beads. The arms are made of notched wooden rods, which 'puppeteers' probably moved by attaching extra rods. A most interesting, rare, original piece.1st half or mid-20th century. H: 190 cm. (ME)
Prov: Prof. Christian Fenzl; Austrian private collection. Lit.: 'Yoruba. Masques et rituels africains' by Josette Rivallain/Felix A. Iroko, 2000Editions Hazan, Paris, photos p. 50, p. 111.
* Prices shown in currencies other than the currency used for the auction (foreign currency information) are strictly for information only! Items will be sold in local currency and the final price in any other currency is based on the actual rate of exchange at time of rendering the account.
Figures for foreign currency information are rounded and based on the up to date rate of exchange of