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Altar figure (onílé)

possibly 1700s
with base: 34.3 x 10.8 x 25.4 cm (13 1/2 x 4 1/4 x 10 in.); without base: 31.3 x 10.8 x 25.4 cm (12 5/16 x 4 1/4 x 10 in.)
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Description

This figure of a horse and rider is related to the Ògbóni society, whose responsibilities include the burial of titleholders and leaders and the judgment and punishment of criminals. A counterweight to the authority of the king, it is also responsible for the selection, installation, and removal of rulers. Probably once forming a pair with a female figure, the equestrian symbolized the king’s male ancestors.
Altar figure (onílé)

Altar figure (onílé)

possibly 1700s

Africa, West Africa, Nigeria, Yorùbá-style maker

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