Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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seated female working a mortar and pestle
  • unknown Ife maker
  • seated female working a mortar and pestle, late 1800s–early 1900s
  • Where object was made: Benin
  • wood, staining, carving, incising
  • Object Height/Width/Depth: 69 x 21.5 x 24 cm
    Object Height/Width/Depth: 27 1/8 x 8 7/16 x 9 7/16 in
  • Gift from the Menninger Foundation
  • Not on display
  • 2007.2872

The figure of a woman is seated on a stool, working a mortar and pestle. She has an elaborate hairdo of many small braids and one large central braid. There are rectangular scars by the eyes and nose and chicken feet scars on either side of the mouth and rectangular scars on the side of the neck. There is a large rectangular patch of scarring on each side of the torso, in linear designs. There are rectangles of linear scars on the shoulder blades as well. She is wearing a loincloth-like garment, wrapped around the waist and hanging between the legs.