Tadep Figure (Primary Title)

Unknown (Artist)

19th-20th century
Mambila
wood, paint
Nigeria, Cameroon
Overall: 9 5/8 × 3 1/4 × 2 7/8 in. (24.45 × 8.26 × 7.3 cm)
2006.223
Tadep are the most common type of figure sculptures in Mambila art. Five figures similar to this one are attached to the adjacent gourd. Tadep are often placed in shrines outside the village—at the threshold between civilization and the wilderness. These figurines characteristically show either the left hand or both hands raised to the chin in a thoughtful gesture linked to Suaga, the Mambila society of healers who also deal with justice, protection from evil forces, and ritual cleansing.
Gift of Robert and Nancy Nooter
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

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