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Maker(s):Obembe Alaye (attributed to)
Culture:African; Nigerian (ca. 1869-1939)
Title:House Post
Date Made:early 20th century
Materials:wood with paint and iron
Place Made:Africa; Nigeria; Efon-Alaye, Ekiti region
Measurements:without base: 67 1/2 x 3 1/2 x 8 1/4 in.; 171.45 x 8.89 x 20.955 cm
Narrative Inscription:  unmarked
Accession Number:  SC 2004.64
Credit Line:Gift of Mrs. Theodore Perry (Sydney Alderman, class of 1967)
Museum Collection:  Smith College Museum of Art

three polychromed figures standing one on top of the other with top figure wearing a large headdress

Label Text:
Yoruba chiefs and kings often decorated their palaces with elaborate sculptural programs. An important component of the palace was the front veranda, where the king could receive guests. Artists such as Alaye and his compatriots Arowogun, Olowe, and Bamgboye excelled at carving the figural columns for these verandas and rose to tremendous fame. This veranda post strongly resembles Obembe Alaye’s personal style, especially the treatment of the horse’s bridle. Therefore, this previously unattributed work is probably by Alaye himself or else a member of his studio trained by him.

This veranda post was acquired by Lucille Alderman and given to the Museum by her daughter Sydney Alderman Perry, class of 1967. The donor studied African and Islamic history at Smith with Professors Margaret Bates and Ibrahim Abu-Lughod. She wanted to increase the presence of African objects at Smith and hoped this gift would advance African Studies at the college.

Susan E. Kart '96. Assistant Professor of the Arts of Africa, Lehigh University (2018)


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