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Figurative post - Wood - Opo - Yoruba - Africa

Figurative post - Wood - Opo - Yoruba - Africa

Important Yoruba Opo Figurative post
Height: 74 cm, 78 cm on it's custom made base in wood and bronze.

Figurative posts often support the verandas of distinguished places such as important shrines or the dwellings of kings, titled elders, and priests. Just as a post supports the house, the carved figures represent the individuals who support and uphold the leader in his office.
Those posts are called Opo.

Carved as a seated maternity figure, with the baby on the back, and the man on top. Fine cubistic carving.

Wood, Fine honey patina, phemba white, and blue pigments. several crack in the wood, one between the breasts of the female figure, and on the upper side from the male figure ( see profile picture). There are eroded portions throughout post and checking from age and wear on the base. The hand with the flute is atached with a nail.

B/W Photo: Inside a Yoruba Opo Shrine for the Shango cult. Photo: Frobenius 1912

Provenance: Private collection in Paris.
Clear signs of use ( see pictures) Custom made stand, in wood and metal.

For a similar object in the Brooklyn museum see :


- African Artistry: Technique and Aesthetics in Yoruba Sculpture 1980 by Henry John Drewal
- Drewal H. J., Pemberton J.III, Yoruba Nine Centuries of African Art, New York, 1989.
- Fagg W., Pemberton J.III, Yoruba Sculture of West Africa, London, 1982.
- "Understanding Yoruba Art and Aesthetics" in African Arts Magazine Jully 1994 pdf:

Can be viewed or picked up, if desired, at David Norden's African Antiques Shop in Antwerp.

Free delivery. Sent by insured and registered mail with Track & Trace. May also be picked up at David Norden's in Antwerp, by arrangement only.
Please note: Sold with written description and free delivery. This post is to be dated from before 1930 and will be a valuable addition to your collection.

Object Figurative post
Indigenous object name Opo
Ethnic group/ culture Yoruba
Region/ country Africa
Material Wood
Period 1st half 20th century
Condition Vintage - used with visible signs of wear
Sold with stand Yes
Dimensions 74×15×15 cm
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