Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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Ofoe figure
  • Yoruba peoples
  • Ofoe figure, 1960s
  • Where object was made: Nigeria
  • brass
  • Object Height/Width/Depth: 43 x 21 x 17 cm
    Object Height/Width/Depth: 16 7/8 x 8 1/4 x 6 11/16 in
  • Gift of Mr. and Mrs. H. Kenneth Palmer
  • Not on display
  • 2007.2765
Label Text

The mask-like metal face has small arms and legs, representing Ofoe, the messenger of death. The face and a hat (with a brick pattern design) occupy the oval body of the piece. The face has a small snake coming out of each nostril, traveling up and over the eye, crossing itself on the cheek and each snake is eating a frog located at the corners of the figure's mouth. The figure's ears are almost proportional, but small legs are attached at the sides, under the ears, and small arms emerge above the ears and are held vertically. Each arm is wrapped with a snake that is biting into a frog in each hand. A rope-like projection runs down the center of the hat.