Yoruba House Post Fragment

A house post to be put in front of a cult house or other important structure.

Yoruba House Post Figure

Tribe: Yoruba

Origin: Western Nigeria

Approx Age: 1950’s

Materials: wood

Dimensions cm: 114 tall

Ref. Number: 1783


A wonderful Yoruba house post fragment, this most possibly stood outside a cult house but over the years lost its top structure and base, on the top of the head of the top male figure are two nails, was this originally holding the “U” shaped post holder? This carving is estimated to be 1950’s. The hat of the top figure has 2 faces on it, front and back, this could be depicting a Yoruba beaded crown.

Provenance: Ex-old UK collection, collected in 1960″s


At the base of the post, the kneeling female figure is depicted as the dominant form. In Yoruba culture, women are honoured as the source of human life and embody ideas of spiritual, political, and economic power. The sculpture’s formal complexity is enhanced by its textured surface, with details originally painted in black, white, red and yellow. 

Figurative posts often support the verandas of distinguished places such as important shrines or the dwellings of kings, titled elders, and priests. Just as a post supports the house, the carved figures represent the individuals who support and uphold the leader in his office.

The posts in the photo from the Brooklyn museum are far more superior in carving and in size, I believe this fragment would have been made for a cult house/priests house.

The photo was taken from the Brooklyn museum. https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/opencollection/objects/3899

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