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Komtin Society Figure

Culture Montol
Title Komtin Society Figure
Date Ca. 1950
Medium Wood and pigment
Dimensions Object: 15 1/8 × 4 1/16 × 4 5/8 in. (38.4 × 10.3 × 11.7 cm)
Overall: 15 1/8 × 4 1/16 × 4 5/8 in. (38.4 × 10.3 × 11.7 cm)
Credit Line Gift of the Raymond and Laura Wielgus Collection in memory of Roy Sieber, Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University
Accession Number 2005.13

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About this Work

Though simply carved and modest in size, this figure is monumental in its presence. The raised head, tautly arched back, and sharply angled arms create tension and energy that is accentuated by the reddish-orange pigment covering the surface. Widely published, this sculpture is recognized as the most compelling Montol figure known in the West. Roy Sieber, who taught African art history at Indiana University for nearly forty years, and who was instrumental in assembling the Eskenazi Museum of Art’s collections of African, South Pacific, and Pre-Columbian art, acquired this figure in Lalin, a small Montol village, during a research trip to northern Nigeria in 1958.

Owned by a member of the Komtin Society, a men's association concerned with curing and herbalism, this figure was used in determining the causes of illnesses.

Provenance research is ongoing for this and many other items in the Eskenazi Museum of Art permanent collection. For more information about the provenance of this artwork, please contact the department curator with specific questions.

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"Komtin Society Figure | Collections Online." Collections Online. Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University, 2024.