door for palace interior

Creation date
wood, pigment, steel
40 3/8 x 25 5/8 x 3 in.
Credit line
Gift of the Alliance of the Indianapolis Museum of Art with funds from the Roger G. Wolcott Fund and Mr. and Mrs. Theodore P. Van Vorhees Art Fund
Accession number
Currently On View In
Eiteljorg Suite of African and Oceanic Art - W302

This small door was originally from an interior court of the palace of the king of Otun.  The three registers of low relief carving do not present an overall narrative.  Rather, the scenes depict positive images of Yoruba life.

The lowest register shows a priest of Osanyin, the herbalist deity, in the center, with two mothers (with children on their backs) offering a bowl and a chicken.  A musician blowing a flute and one playing a side-blown horn flank them.

The central figure of the middle register is a Muslim warrior on horseback.  A prisoner floats above his head.  A woman and child are to the right, and two figures, one holding Islamic prayer beads and the other playing a side-blown horn, are to the left.

The top register features a British colonial officer as a pipe smoking cyclist.  In front of the cyclist is a captive carrying a box, chained to an armed guard seated on the front fender of the bicycle.  A seated figure and a drummer are behind the cyclist.

Reproduction of these images, including downloading, is prohibited without written authorization from VAGA.

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