Mumuye - Sculpture from Nigeria

The Human Figure Reinvented

Mumuye - Sculpture from Nigeria
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Article code10127
Mumuye - Sculpture from Nigeria - The Human Figure Reinvented
127 pages
Color photos
Hard cover
35 x 25 cm
1,219 kg

It was not until the late 1960s that statues from the Mumuye culture of northeastern Nigeria appeared on the European art scene. Their impact was immediate and profound: African art aficionados marvelled at Mumuye artists' abstract interpretation of the human body, which recalled the approach to anatomy by artists of the Cubist and Expressionist movements. Indeed, anthropomorphic Mumuye figure sculptures demonstrate an astonishing range of variations, testifying to their makers' unbridled creativity and limitless inventiveness. Here, a meticulous analysis of the extraordinary forms of Mumuye figures - paying attention to their striking inherent sense of motion - leads to a new style of classification that recognises different workshops and even the hands of individual masters. A summary of the scant field-based studies discusses the figures' primary role as emblems of status and rank, their connections to ancestral veneration, and healing and divination practices. Through a selection of masks and other objects, this book reveals the beauty of Mumuye figurative sculpture.