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Carving of Queen Victoria
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The Yoruba of Nigeria are renowned for their skill in carving wood, an artistic tradition hundreds of years old. They produce ceremonial masks, everyday objects and sculptures, depicting both secular and religious subjects.

This wooden figure of the British queen Victoria (reigned 1819-1901) was made by a Yoruba carver. In 1861 the city of Lagos became a British crown colony, formally beginning the British administration of Nigeria. As in other parts of the British empire, official and unofficial photographs of Queen Victoria were widely available across Nigeria. These were probably used for reference by skilled Yoruba carvers. The resulting three-dimensional figures of the Queen, such as this one, show her with European dress and posture but rendered in a traditional Yoruba style.

Carving of Queen Victoria

Yoruba people, Nigeria, 19th century AD
Ht 37 cm
Donated by H. V.A. Lambert

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