Yoruba (Yorba, Yorouba), Nigeria, Benin and Togo
Yoruba people, numbering over 12 million, are the largest nation in Africa with an
art-producing tradition. Most of them live in southwestern Nigeria, with considerable
communities further west in the Republic of Benin and in Togo, in an area of
forest and savannah. They are divided into
approximately twenty separate subgroups, which were traditionally autonomous kingdoms.
of the Yoruba people are farmers. Even when they live in the city, they keep a hut close
to the field in which they grow corn, cocoa, and yams. Yoruba art varies remarkably
according to area and the individual carver, yet it maintains its distinctive character of
proud humanism, expressed with great virtuosity in fully rounded forms. It is
characteristic of Yoruba art that the figures face forward, whether standing, sitting, or
kneeling, are balanced in terms of the principle of symmetry. They call this figure Olumeye
that means one who knows honor.
Size: 20½x 6x 6