human figure

 
Culture
Fon people
Culture
Kingdom of Dahomey
Creation date
Materials
wood, aluminum
Dimensions
18 x 9 1/2 x 10 1/2 in.
Credit line
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Harrison Eiteljorg
Accession number
1989.683
Collection
Currently On View In
Eiteljorg Suite of African and Oceanic Art - W302

This figure consists of hammered silver over a wooden core.  Objects like this are associated with royal worship of Tohosu, "king of the water."  The designs stamped on the face represent chains of seashells, which hide the faces of Tohosu followers during initiation rites.  The fin-shaped shoulders may refer both to water deities and to a famous king whose symbol was a shark.

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