This impressive Nigerian Urhobo figure has a distinguished collection history, having previously belonged to Jean-Marc Desaive, who purchased it from Cornette de Saint Cyr. H = 93cmIt has an impressive handling patina and is dated to the XIXth century. It was intended to protect a village against bad spirits and attacks from another village, and represents -edjo re akare spirits.The figures have been extensively studied by Anderson & Peek:The Urhobo honor both ancestors and nature spirits with their figurative sculptures. Figures dedicated to specific ancestors who played a prominent role in founding a lineage, village, or clan (eshe) preside over communal meeting houses. Standing at the center of the hall, aligned with its physical and spiritual axis, an eshe carving provides an image of leadership and moral compass for those who gather to deliberate affairs affecting the larger community. People who engage in dangerous occupations, such as warfare and hunting, may present the eshe with offerings in the process of seeking its protection. Conversely, the ancestors, who look out for and guard against antisocial activity, inflict illnesses on those who practice sorcery or witchcraft. Wrongdoers must confess their misdeeds before the figure of their esteemed ancestor if they wish to recover"" (Anderson & Peet, 2002:127)."