Female Figure, Idoma people, Nigeria

The Idoma female figures sit on circular stools, their monumental aspect emphasized by the force of their expression and by their dignified pose, with hands on knees, back straight, breasts and navel projecting forward. The beauty of the female form is magnified by its rich adornments: the thin layer of kaolin clay covering the face, the cropped coiffure, the scarification with its polychromatic enhancement (barely visible on sculpture), and the ringed neck. The facial and body scarifications could be read as the igbu-ichi or uli that is common among the Igbos, and also with the Idoma. The ringed necklace or jigida, arm bangle and ankle bracelets are all items that suggest the grace and elegance of the female in Igbo culture. Seated on a stool indicates rank and may have been placed next to the deceased at a funeral.

 

Placed on shrines or displayed during funerals, among many peoples, the figure may be dressed in the clothing of the deceased.

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