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Creator Nationality: African; West African; Nigerian; Yoruba
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Name-CRT: Yoruba
Title: Door
View: front
Creation Start Date: 1900
Creation End Date: 1933
Creation Date: Early 20th century
Object Type: Sculpture
Classification Term: Architectural
Materials and Techniques: wood, metal fittings, nails
Dimensions: H.89-1/2 x W.43-1/2 x D.1-1/4 in., irregular
AMICA Contributor: The Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Owner Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
ID Number: 92.58
Credit Line: The William Hood Dunwoody Fund

In the major towns of the eight Yoruba kingdoms in and around Nigeria, each ruler, or Oba, maintains a royal palace and an elaborate court life. Professional sculptors are commissioned to carve palace doors decorated with images and scenes relating to the life of the Oba and are frequently replaced when a new ruler takes his place.

This door, from Kwara state in western Nigeria, shows four rows of male and female figures. Their crossed hands may indicate familial relationships, or may suggest their status as captives, thus emphasizing the power of the Oba. Crocodiles, because of their association to water, often represent wealth in Yoruba iconography, while coiled snakes suggest the quickness and power of the Oba and warn against irreverence toward the royal family.

AMICA ID: MIA_.92.58
Component Measured: overall(irregular)
Measurement Unit: in
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights: ?The Minneapolis Institute of Arts

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