Lot: 237

Online Auction

Female figure of the "komtin" society

Nigeria, Montol

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
Rolf Kunitsch, Münster, Germany
Zemanek-Münster, 26 November 2005, Lot 215
Horst Hornstadt, Frankfurt, Germany
H: 18.9 inch 250 EUR
plus 27 % commission, VAT, transport and insurance

wood, base

According to records of a Montol figurine donated by Hanns Vischer to the Museum für Völkerkunde in Basel in 1905, these figurines were kept in small, grass-thatched stone houses ("dodo").

These houses were reserved for purposes of worship, out of sight of women and children. They were used to pass sentence after due deliberation, and were also employed in divination rituals organized to find the cause of an illness or to find a cure.

The figures belong to a secret male society called "komtin". The activities of this society seem primarily involved in curing rites and herbalism.

Berns, Marla C. et. al., Arts of the Benue River Valley, Los Angeles 2011, p. 282