Rare Mama figure

African art in the mirror of Modern Art

Mama, Nigeria, traditional art versus Modern Art

Auction in Wurzburg:
Saturday, 10 March 2018 starting at 2 pm

Rare Mama figure, Nigeria
H 45 cm

Roger F. Azar, Lebanon (bis 2002)
Richard Scheller, San Francisco, USA
Alain de Monbrison, Paris, France
French Private Collection

Published in:
Auditorio de Galicia (ed.), Nixeria, Arte tribal na collecion Azar, 1995, p. 67, ill. 22

In the traditional art of the Mama, they are considered unique because they were only carved for a very specific cult. Collectors of classical modernism appreciate them for their abstract and intense form.

Hellmich, Christina & Manuel Jordán, Embodiments, San Francisco 2015, p. 114 f.
Rubin, William (Hg.), Primitivismus in der Kunst des zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts, München 1984, p. 373, ill. 504
Prado, A. & J. Teodoro, Joyas del Niger y del Benue, Madrid 2003, p. 92
Frank, Barbara, Die Kulere, Wiesbaden 1981, ill. 107


Photo: Barbara Frank

According to Barbara Frank (Studien zur Kulturkunde - (57) Die Kulere, Wiesbaden 1981), there is only one cult represented by carved figures. This is called "tabalak" and causes and heals skin diseases. The figures were kept in secret and used in the healing ceremonies.