Standing figure

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General Description

Figures like this one with a columnar form, sloping shoulders and hips, long arms framing the abdomen, and short, notched legs are used by Mumuye diviners and healers to diagnose and treat illness and other misfortune. This one represents a male ancestral guardian spirit as indicated by the warrior's helmet with ear flaps (or possibly intricate hairstyle) it wears.

In the absence of field documentation, the precise function of any individual Mumuye figure is unknown. Some are used by individuals to guard their property, by rainmakers to greet their clients, and by elders to reinforce their status in society.

Excerpt from

Roslyn A. Walker, Label text, Arts of Africa, 2015.