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Sitting figure representing a person waiting for yam to cook down (bigger than the pot). Figure is sitting on a cylindrical object tapering upward. The knees are bent so that the legs are angled frontward and outward with the yam in between the feet. The elbows are bent so that the arms are resting just above the knees. Clothes are of a lighter wood colour than the body. On a wood base.

History Of Use

Thorn carvings are miniatures depicting a variety of scenes from Nigerian life. The carvings first began to be made circa 1930. The thorns vary in size; they can be as large as 12.7 cm long and 9.6 cm wide. The thorn wood is comparatively soft and easy to carve; they are traditionally carved by men.


Collected by Dougal MacGregor while he was a teacher at the University of Accra, 1970.

Cultural Context

craft; tourist art

Specific Techniques

The light yellow-brown thorn and the dark brown thorn come from the ata tree; the light red-brown thorn comes from egun trees. The parts are glued together with viscous paste made that was made from rice cooked with water.

Item History

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