Open daily, 10am–5pm, Free

419 Great King Street Dunedin, New Zealand

Otago Museum is closed until further notice. Please stay safe, look after your people, and follow all requirements under the Government's COVID-19 alert system.

Figure, D75.250

Physical Description

A stylized human figure. Hundreds of small glass beads of many colours strung on thread and sewn onto white cloth covering a solid form - possibly wood. Most beads are on strands running parallel to each other and around body and legs. Crown of head in yellow beads, with beads of many colours forming nose, orange/red beads for mouth. Eyes and mouth outlined with white beads. Longer red beads at dorsal side of head with line of white beads above, and then crowned with the yellow cap/crown/hair. "Choker of 6 strands of white beads completely surrounding neck. Outstretched arms completely covered with beads of many colours. Right forehand is of white beads. Bare stretch on chest between arms - i.e. approx. 3-4 strands width. Bare area lightly painted colour orange. Feet tops and sides covered in white beads. Soles absent of beads and showing stitched white cloth. Arms and lower legs move slightly suggested basic form is of several pieces.

Research Notes

Original notes say Nigeria. However, figure would appear more likely to be made by the Namji of northwest Cameroons (which shares the eastern border of Nigeria.). Namji are known for their extensive use of beads on various traditional sculptures. Small glass beads, thread, cloth over a solid form - possibly a wooden figure. This kind of figure is believed to be used to bring fertility and to assure children to young women of the Namji people of northwest Cameroons (West Africa). It is worn on the back of young women tied on with a band of cloth similar to how babies are carried. A stylized human figure. Hundreds of small glass beads of many colours strung on thread and sewn onto white cloth covering a solid form - possibly wood. Most beads are on strands running parallel to each other and around body and legs. Crown of head in yellow beads, with beads of many colours forming nose, orange/red beads for mouth. Eyes and mouth outlined with white beads. Longer red beads at dorsal side of head with line of white beads above, and then crowned with the yellow cap/crown/hair. "Choker of 6 strands of white beads completely surrounding neck. Outstretched arms completely covered with beads of many colours. Right forehand is of white beads. Bare stretch on chest between arms - i.e. approx. 3-4 strands width. Bare area lightly painted colour orange. Feet tops and sides covered in white beads. Soles absent of beads and showing stitched white cloth. Arms and lower legs move slightly suggested basic form is of several pieces. Height =approx. 234mm. Front to back at buttocks =33mm. —Joel A Vanderburg

Provenance

Locality

Measurements

Maximum dimensions (H x W x D): 240 x 70 x 120mm

All Rights Reserved