Ancestor Figure (Ekpu)

Ibibio peoples, Oron group

Not on view

Until the 1930s, the creation of such a work was an essential part of the process whereby an esteemed Oron elder was elevated to ancestral status. The figures served as the locus whereby the distinguished individuals portrayed were invoked to play an essential role in assuring the well-being of their offspring. Features depicted that allude to their exalted social standing are prominent headdresses, beards, and stomachs. The eldest member of a clan was the guardian and keeper of a shrine in which as many as fourteen generations of their forebearers were so honored.

Ancestor Figure (Ekpu), Wood, Ibibio peoples, Oron group

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