ilekun (Door)

About this object


Assumed to have been collected by Lieber while he was living in Nigeria (1965-1970), lecturing at the University of Ibadan under the auspices of CIDA.

Physical description

Carved door panel made of two wooden rectangular panels, held together by three horizontal wooden boards nailed to their backs. Right side of left panel is jagged, it extends slightly over the right panel. Left panel has spindle extending from bottom left corner. Top left corner of left panel has round extension. Left panel has carving of large male figure with his hands upraised, holding ceremonial pots in each hand. Below him are four figures, in two rows of two, facing inward and carrying staffs. Right panel has carving of large female figure with her hands upraised, holding ceremonial pots in each hand. On her left there is a small figure holding a curved object. On her right there is a small figure with characteristics of the deity Eshu-thumb in mouth and phallic hairstyle. Below the large female there are five figures, two rows with three above two, facing inward and holding offering pots. Three of the five figures have the deity Eshu's hairstyle. Between the two figures on the bottom is a carving of a divination tray, known as Ifa. Tray is circular, made of cross-hatched lines. All designs carved in high relief. There is a small square cut out on the right panel between two figures holding offering pots. Nails securing boards on back are visible from front. Three nails for each board. The nails in the centre are straight, the nails on either side are bent over, to lie flat against the panels. Additional nail along right edge of right panel, bent to lie flat.