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A high-aged male Jukun sculpture

A high-aged male Jukun sculpture

Regular price €1.600,00 EUR
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A high-aged male Jukun sculpture partly covered with a thick sacrification patina, on his right cheek some small parts of the patina broke loose during transport from Nigeria to Lomé and were reattached in a nearly invisible repair (see photo sequence). The wood is extremely heavy, weathered, and eroded. Probably one of the oldest Jukun we collected in the last ten years.

This rare statue belongs to the core style of the Northeastern Jukun. According to Arnold Rubin's research (cf. A. Rubin, "The Arts of the Jukun-Speaking Peoples of Northern Nigeria," PH.D. dissertation, Indiana University, Bloomington, 1969, p.81-83), these figures embody the spirits of the original ancestors, the deceased chiefs, their wives and their retinue.

Yukun statues represent "ancestors, as well as wives and slaves. They are displayed during funerals, agricultural ceremonies, and in times of danger. During these rites, the figures serve as an intermediary between the priest and the ancestor’s world.

The Jukun are an ethnolinguistic group or ethnic nation in West Africa, Nigeria. The Jukun are traditionally located in Taraba, Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau, Adamawa, and Gombe States in Nigeria and parts of northwestern Cameroon. They are descendants of the people of Kwararafa. Most of the tribes in the north-central regions of Nigeria trace their origin to the Jukun people and are related in one way or the other to the Jukuns.

Jukun, a people living on the upper Benue River in Nigeria, are commonly believed to be descendants of the people of Kororofa, one of the most powerful Sudanic kingdoms during the late European Middle Ages. The ruins of a great settlement to the northeast of the Jukun’s present location are thought to be those of the capital of that kingdom, but the claim has not been thoroughly investigated by archaeologists.

The population speaks the language of the Benue-Congo branch of the Niger-Congo family. The people comprise of a congeries of many smaller groups, each organized on a different basis, although polygynous extended families seem to be the dominant unit.

The Jukun traditionally possessed a complex system of offices, which had both a political and a religious aspect; the priesthood practiced an involved form of religion marked by diurnal and annual rounds of ritual and sacrifice. The king, called Aka Uku, was—until he became a member of northern Nigeria’s house of chiefs in 1947—a typical example of a semi-divine priest-king." Brauer Museum of Art, Ancestral Statue.

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