Ikegobo altar (Front view)

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Item : Ikegobo altar, Picture : Front view (approx. 23 Kbytes)

This ikegobo altar was used by the Edo during rituals linked with the ikenga cult. Ikenga is the embodiment of traditional male leadership and power. The shrine expressed their personal spirit or chi, a source of strength and courage. Ikenga visualizes the authority of leadership : the ability to sit in judgment and be a warrior-chief. An ikenga typically received offerings as farm produce (sacrifices for the yam deity, ifejioku), prayers to the physical power (the power of the right hand and arm, the obo, and the right hand cult, aka nri, literally « hand of the food »), and stands for personal determination (ivri) in warrior secret society.
Such altar is protected from the profane world of the outside, the village, in the family sanctuary and shrines within. It could be seen as a « shrine within a shrine », symbolizing the okpossi (representing one's personal spirit or chi) in addition to the ikenga cult.
Probably 17th / 18th century.

Object #4242

Origin :

Nigeria (Northern area of the Niger Delta)

Type :

Ritual items

Ethnic group :


Material :

Wood, sacrificial materials

Size :

W = 7.8 inches; H = 4 inches

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