Ijo / Memorial Screen / Late 19th centuryIjo
Memorial Screen
Late 19th century

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Creator Name: Ijo
Creator Nationality: African; West African; Nigerian
Creator Role: Sculptor
Creator Name-CRT: Ijo
Title: Memorial Screen
View: front
Creation Start Date: 1866
Creation End Date: 1899
Creation Date: Late 19th century
Object Type: Sculpture
Materials and Techniques: wood, wicker, paint
Dimensions: H.37-1/2 x W.28 x D.9-3/4 in.
AMICA Contributor: The Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Owner Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
ID Number: 74.22
Credit Line: The John R. Van Derlip Fund
Rights: http://www.artsmia.org/restrictions.html

Ijaw people live on the coastal delta of the Niger River, a location advantageous to trade. When European merchants began voyages to Africa in the fifteenth century, the Ijaw served as middlemen in the exchange of gold, ivory, and slaves for European products. Certain families became extremely wealthy, comparable in their economic power to the merchant princes of Europe.

When a member of a trading house died, relatives commissioned an artist to produce a memorial screen called a duein fobara, or forehead of the dead. For Ijaw people one's immortal spirit resides in the forehead, and the screen becomes the spirit's home after death. The image represents the deceased person at the center, surrounded by servants, and is kept in the trading house and given symbolic offerings of food and drink. Although trading houses have declined in power and importance duein fobara screens are still occasionally made.

AMICA ID: MIA_.74.22
Component Measured: overall
Measurement Unit: in
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights: ?The Minneapolis Institute of Arts

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