Yoruba Artist, Nigeria
Kneeling Figure with Bowl
9 3/4 x 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches
Gift of Bernard and Patricia Wagner
On View - Wieland Pavilion, Lower Level, Gallery 102, African Collection
The kneeling gift bearer is common on many altars because of its capacity to serve as a surrogate for the owner of an altar or the person who commissioned it. This example is unusual for its elongated form. Its kneeling pose communicates respect, courtesy, and supplication. When placed on an altar that represents the “outer head” of a Yoruba deity, the receptacles of kneeling figures such as this one are used to conceal natural objects signifying the “inner head” of a that deity.