A big female Igbo Alusi Statue, Alusi are called protective deities of the Igbo, spirits that serve as protectors of a particular person, place, gender or profession, according to the Igbo understanding, Alusi are the children or representatives of the high god Chuku. Sometimes depicted as life-size wooden figures, their powers bring about good or destruction. Housed in elaborate enclosures, they are used for rituals. The largest figures in the shrine are “married couples”, male and female large figures, smaller figures represent children, this figure, made of Iroko wood, the figure stands in frontal position on heavy feet in non-naturalistic form, legs slightly spread, arms symmetrically arranged to the sides, free from the torso, forearms stretched forward, open hands with palms facing the sky, elongated neck with the head sitting on top, very straight chin line with mouth facing forward, Ichi scarification deeply incised on the temples and forehead, repeated application of chalk or redwood causes encrustation of the surface.
In the past, these deities were worshipped every four days. The priest made offerings in the form of food and drink in a ceremony attended by the village elders and leaders. The offerings included chalk and kola nuts. Sometimes poultry, goats or sheep were also sacrificed. The “chaff”, i.e. the bodies of the sacrificed animals, served as a feast for these deities, as the blood was said to be the preferred food of the deities themselves. During the annual “Feast of the Images”, the women painted and redecorated the figures.
In some areas, the various figures were scattered around the community and housed in different tribal shrines, but were brought together annually for a festival. On these occasions, up to twenty or thirty effigies are gathered, surrounded by or adorned with title insignia such as staffs, caps, eagle feathers and jewellery. Worshippers place cola, chalk and coins at the feet of the figures. The guardian figures are led through the city as a sign of respect. At the end of the ceremony, the figures are returned to their “homes”, shrines and compounds.
Lit.: Igbo Arts: Community and Cosmos: Herbert M.Cole, Chike Cyril Aniakor; Igbo Monumental Sculptures From Nigeria: Bernard de Grunne; The Spirituality of the Igbo People of Nigeria as an Example of Religious Modernization in a Global World: Henry Chukwudi Okeke; Niger Ibos: A Description of the Primitive Life, Customs and Animistic Beliefs of the Ibo People of Nigeria: George Thomas Basden.
1.400 -1.800,- Euro
Height: 110 cm
Weight: 7,9 kg