Returned to lender The Met accepts temporary loans of art both for short-term exhibitions and for long-term display in its galleries.

Seated Male Figure

Middle Niger civilization

Not on view

In Mande society, clay has historically been a major medium of creative expression identified with female expertise. Women’s mastery of sophisticated techniques of forming and firing clay parallels that of men’s manipulation of iron ore through smithing. Given that these gendered specializations go back as far as anyone can remember, it has been proposed that female authors produced the full array of Middle Niger ritual ceramics, including figurative representations.

Seated Male Figure, Terracotta, Middle Niger civilization

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.

© Fondation Musée Barbier-Mueller, photo by Luis Lourenço