This figure probably represented a community’s founding ancestor or a warrior and was one of a large number of monumental figures kept in the men’s meetinghouse to guard the private areas from intrusion. It likely was part of a group that included the founding ancestor’s wife and other members of the village, such as warriors and hunters. Besides its size, the most striking feature is the broad, bold use of color that reinforces the strength of the carving. Among the Igbo, such figures are sculpted by men and painted by women. This is one of only two published terracotta Oshugbo figures; others are copper alloy.
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