All of the maternity figures above have been vetted as authentic.
Despite their appearance the maternity figures below were probably made to be sold.
Photographs © Tim Hamill
YORUBA, MATERNITY FIGURES, Nigeria
Yoruba figures like these were used in many different ways.
Exhibiting a wide diversity in size, symbolism, intimacy and style, African maternity figures depict the ideals of beauty, fertility, character and action and many signify much more, whether the primordial mother or a legendary founding ancestor. Commonly used as shrine figures, they were often objects of petitions or prayers for fertility and successful births. The prevelance of the maternity theme testifies to the importance of women and children to the continuity of each people.
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