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Standing Male Figure

Arts of Africa

This large figure with his ‘‘heavy’’ pose suggests aggression, highlighted by his outsized hands, angled limbs, and a severely abstracted face with a gaping mouth. It is thought that figures such as this were used by the Chamba as protection from malevolent spirits.
CULTURE Chamba
MEDIUM Wood, organic materials
  • Place Made: Adamawa State
  • DATES early 20th century
    DIMENSIONS 24 3/8 x 6 x 5 in. (61.9 x 15.2 x 12.7 cm)  (show scale)
    COLLECTIONS Arts of Africa
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 2011.31.1
    CREDIT LINE Gift in honor of William C. Siegmann in recognition of his contributions to the study and understanding of African Arts
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Chamba. Standing Male Figure, early 20th century. Wood, organic materials, 24 3/8 x 6 x 5 in. (61.9 x 15.2 x 12.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift in honor of William C. Siegmann in recognition of his contributions to the study and understanding of African Arts, 2011.31.1. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2011.31.1_PS6.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 2011.31.1_PS6.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2011
    "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.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Standing male figure with a flat central crest running down middle/top of the head. Figure has outsized hands, limbs that join the torso at a sharp and irregular angle below an open, gaping mouth, and a severely reduced face, whose only other distinguishing feature is a pair of slightly raised mounds suggesting eyes. The entire work is covered in a fine and even sacrificial patina. Stands on an attached wooden base. Condition: good.
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    Chamba. <em>Standing Male Figure</em>, early 20th century. Wood, organic materials, 24 3/8 x 6 x 5 in. (61.9 x 15.2 x 12.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift in honor of William C. Siegmann in recognition of his contributions to the study and understanding of African Arts, 2011.31.1. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2011.31.1_PS6.jpg)