Urhobo Edjo Warrior Ikenga Statue #765

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  • Urhobo Edjo Warrior Ikenga Statue
  • A male Urhobo sculpture, ‘Mythical Warrior’, called ‘Edjo’, seated on an eroded base, sitting upright and rigidly on a two legged stool, wedge-shaped feet, wearing large anklets, the sturdy legs leading to prominent buttocks, accentuated genitals, the hips encircled by a loincloth, wearing a decorative necklace with...a single piece of very hard, heavy wood, covered with a reddish-brown, blackened and white layer, signs of age and ritual use, the left hand and leg partly eroded, several cracks and little holes.
  • "The Urhobo live in the western region of the Niger Delta, in the south of Nigeria. They honor the Forces of Nature in the form of Spirits, as well as...a figurative statue, and ritually venerated in his own shrine where he is given offerings."
  • Living in the middle of the African forest, the Urhobo always believed that the Spirits of the Forest, the Edjo, influenced their daily lives. Warrior sculptures representing the Edjo are a tribute to the Spirits of the Forest, as well as to the Ancestors. They can be considered either evil or beneficial, and each Community has the duty of controlling them. The Edjo are subject to an almost daily Cult, and each Edjo has a dedicated Priest or Priestess.
  • Ikenga is a personal God of human endeavor, achievement, success, and victory. Ikenga is grounded in. the belief that the power for a man to accomplish things is in his right hand.
  • Ikenga also governs over industry, farming, and blacksmithing, and is celebrated every year with an annual Ikenga Festival.
  • Ikenga are mostly maintained, kept or owned by men and occasionally by women of high reputation and integrity in the Society. It comprises someone's Chi (personal God), his Ndichie (Ancestors), aka Ikenga (right hand), ike (power) as well as Spiritual activation through prayer and sacrifice.
  • The Horns the most important part of the Ikenga.
  • Rams are known for their strength and tenacity; they go into battle head first, and once two of them lock horns, they do not back down until one is defeated. The ram horns, therefore, represent the determination needed to face Life's Hurdles.
  • The frontal scarifications are classic in the Art of the Urhobo.
  • Estimated age: Between 1960 and 1970.
  • Lit.: Erwin Melchardt: Urhobo, Nigeria: A sculpture of the 'mythical warrior Ejo', who is venerated in his own shrines by the Urhobo, in: Doro theum, Lot No. 55; Perkins Foss, "Urhobo Statuary for Spirits and Ancestors", African Arts, July 1976, Vol. IX, No. 4, p. 18; Jean-Baptiste Bacquart: The Tribal Arts of Afric’, p. 93, fig. 8.
  • Measurements: 117cm high
  • Origin is Urhobo People, Nigeria