This page is a record of an exhibit that took place
in 1997. The individual links below will take you to
the CURRENT VERSION of the pages
that formed part of that exhibit.
"Mumuye and Wurkun Sculpture", works recognized for their dynamic interplay of complex angular masses, represent two neighboring peoples of remote NE Nigeria. The Mumuye were unknown to outsiders until 1959, their sculpture was discovered first in 1968. With no royalty, the Mumuye were organized by age groups.
Perhaps the most "modern" looking of African figures, many Mumuye works have a Henry Moore-like sculptural quality. The figures range greatly in size, but share elongated bodies, stylized coiffures or crests, ears, scarification, short notched legs and planes defining negative spaces. The statues depicted spirits and were used for protection, divination and healing as well as bringing status and prestige to the owner.