Arts of Africa
This personal shrine reflects the great value the Igbo place on individual achievement. Personal shrines are created in the form of figures known as ikenga to honor the power and skills of a person's right hand, as the right hand holds the hoe, the sword, and the tools of craftsmanship. The basic form of an ikenga is a human figure with horns symbolizing power, sometimes reduced to only a head with horns on a base.
early 20th century
This item is not on view
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Uzi Zucker
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license
. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.
Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please contact email@example.com
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Igbo, Okoba. Figure (Ikenga), early 20th century. Wood, 8 1/4in. (21cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Uzi Zucker, 79.117.1. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 79.117.1_bw.jpg)
overall, 79.117.1_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Small, dark wooden ikenga (sculpture for the hand) with sacrificial patina. At the bottom is the stool-like element composed for four angular flexed legs. In the middle is a head with a chip carved cross shape in the center of the forehead, and another cross shape on the back. facial features are indicated. Surmounting the head are two looped horns with chio carved decoration and which are void in the center. At the base of the horns is a band with three projecting knobs on front and back. Below the band a flared appendage, continuing the line of the horns, extends down on either side of the head. CONDITION: Very good. Some evidence of wear throughout; very small areas of patina missing from flexed legs.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.