Wooden ancestral effigy, carved into a human form from the wood of the ọfọ tree, onlaid iron straps, eyes and headdress, suspension ring on base, Ibgo people, Southern Nigeria, 1890-1932.
Many African societies believe in reincarnation. They also believe dead ancestors have power over current events. The Igbo people of Southern Nigeria traditionally believe every soul has a chance to return to Earth in the body of a newborn member of the same family. This ritual club, carved from the wood of the ọfọ tree, represents the power and authority of the ancestors. It also signifies the bond between the living and the dead. Sacrifices are made, prayers are said and effigies such as this are made to appease the spirits of dead relatives.
- Ethnography and Folk Medicine
- Object Number:
- visual and verbal communication
- funerary sculpture
- Jeffreys, M.D.W.
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