Ceremonial Ax
Yoruba, Nigeria
Late 19th/Early 20th Century
Previous collection: Private American collection, ex Michael Oliver, NYC

This is a fine and old example of a ceremonial ax used by chiefs among the Yoruba. The figurative element on the axe is of a kneeling female figure holding her breasts. What makes this example special is originally its ceremonial purpose was an axe, but later in its lifetime became a shrine object as you can see by the thickly developed encrusted patina from copious libations at the shrine; mostly chicken blood and other organic materials. This is a nice example of tribal art because the whole history of the object is speaking directly to you through its surface patina.

This ax stands 18.25 inches.
IN 1-13-13 / SOLD