Fon Figure
Dahomy, Benin
19th Century

Figure posts, such as this, were called Boccio by the Fon. These figures were kept in shrines and often sunk into the earth and allowed to age by exposure. Although they are relatively small, they are spiritually monumental. They provide protection and function as a deterrent for evil spirits. Although their appearance can vary, Boccio do not depict specific spirits, their human form instead being a repository for a spiritual force. The sculptor has utilized the natural curvature of the wood to suggest movement and power. The face is heavily eroded, but the pointed hairstyle is still visible. This Boccio is unique, as it is covered in hand forged nails with string woven around them. The figure is heavily encrusted due to the years of being covered with magical substances. This particular piece is from a French Mission Museum.

Height: 14 3/4 " in.
IN 4-10-14 / Price on Request