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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Yoruba Terracotta Vessels : Yoruba Terracotta Vessel Lid
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Yoruba Terracotta Vessel Lid - PF.4782
Origin: Southwestern Nigeria
Circa: 18 th Century AD to 19 th Century AD
Dimensions: 12.875" (32.7cm) high x 7.25" (18.4cm) wide
Collection: African
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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The Yoruba cosmos is divided into two halves: aye (the visible world), and orun (the invisible realm). These distinct yet inseparable realms are perfectly structured within themselves and can effect one another. The 'bridge' between the two can be reached by diviners or shamans who can determine forces at work among the gods, ancestors and spirits effecting human beings. Figured bowls, of which this beautiful sculpture may be a lid, are used in divination ceremonies (Ifa) by shamans who consult Orunmila, the deity of order in the universe. The extended breasts of this figure suggests a connection with a fertility deity. The detailed configuration of striations and thick bands in various shapes is more than just a design, and can be seen as a means of organizing diverse elements within an autonomous unit. This is one way art can mirror the universe, being both diverse and yet highly organized. The expression on the face is one of compassion, beautifully depicted and full of deep feelings. Only a sculptor possessing technical skill and steeped in a rich culture can produce such a profound work of art. - (PF.4782)


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