Female Figure



Female Figure


Effigy, figure, sculpture


late 19th-early 20th Century


West Africa, Sierra Leone
Temne or Bullom


6 11/16 x 26 3/8 x 4 3/4 in. (17 x 67 x 12 cm)

Object Number



In the early 20th century, when many objects were collected by Western museums, the documentation that accompanied their acquisition was often lost, or transactions went unrecorded. This carving illustrate the difficulty of reconstructing the original meaning and purpose of an object once it has left Africa and moved into a museum collection.

Among the Temne and Bullom of southern Sierra Leone, idealized figures are carved for a number of sacred purposes. The same type of figure might be a twin memorial figure, a representation of an ancestor, a diviner's aid, or a guide for male and female youth undergoing initiation to adulthood.

Credit Line

Ex coll. William S. Arnett


MCCM Permanent Collection Reinstallation, 2008 - March 7, 2013


© Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University. Photo by Bruce M. White 2010.
This image is provided by the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University, who retains all rights in it. This image is made available for limited non-commercial, educational, and personal use only, or for fair use as defined by United States law. For all other uses, please contact the Michael C. Carlos Museum Office of Collections Services at +1(404) 727-4282 or mccm.collections.services@emory.edu. Users must cite the author and source of the image as they would material from any printed work, but not in any way that implies endorsement of the user or the user's use of the image. Users may not remove any copyright, trademark, or other proprietary notices, including without limitation attribution information, credits, and copyright notices that have been placed on or near the image by the Museum. The Museum assumes no responsibility for royalties or fees claimed by the artist or third parties. The User agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Emory University, its Michael C. Carlos Museum, its agents, employees, faculty members, students and trustees from and against any and all claims, losses, actions, damages, expenses, and all other liabilities, including but not limited to attorney’s fees, directly or indirectly arising out of or resulting from its use of photographic images for which permission is granted hereunder.

On View



“Female Figure,” Michael C. Carlos Museum Collections Online, accessed February 19, 2019, http://carlos.digitalscholarship.emory.edu/items/show/7147.

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