Yoruba Bronze Ogboni Sculpture of a Woman - PF.4745
Origin: Southwestern Nigeria
Circa: 1200 AD to 1600 AD
Dimensions: 6.375" (16.2cm) high x 3" (7.6cm) wide
Collection: African
Style: Yoruba
Medium: Bronze

Yoruba fertility figures changed style over the centuries, yet managed to retain certain characteristic features which bind them together as a homogeneous genre. This powerful female has typically elongated breasts, bulging eyes, headdress or cap. She holds a gourd/vessel and a fan-shaped object. The gourd is an ancient symbol in Yoruba mythology and associated with those designed to hold medicinal potions. The 'fan' is seen with other such fertility statues and is likely a symbol of authority. There are fine details in the clearly delineated feet and expressive facial features. This statue has a megalithic quality about her, as if she has risen from the earth, making her appear larger than her actual size. She may have been made for private worship, symbolizing the eternal mother-goddess, kept in a home for the well-being of a family-- especially to encourage the blessing of many children! - (PF.4745)