Kneeling Female Figure with Offering Bowl (Olumeye)
Lamidi Fakeye (Nigerian, 1928 – 2009)
Dimensions : 13 3/4 x 3 x 5 1/2 in. (34.92 x 7.62 x 13.97 cm)
Credit LineHope College Collection
LabelThe Yoruba name for this type sculpture depicting a kneeling woman with a child strapped to her back and an offering bowl held in her hands is olumeye, "one who brings honor." Olumeye sculptures were traditionally displayed on altars to represent offerings to the gods and ancestral spirits. The figure exhibits many physical characteristics that were associated with female beauty in Yoruba culture, including an elaborate, crested hairstyle, scarification patterns on her cheeks, a long neck, and large, pointed breasts. Lamidi Fakeye, the artist who created this sculpture, came from a long line of traditional Yoruba woodcarvers. He played an important role in preserving and advancing Yoruba woodcarving in Nigeria during the second half of the 20th century.