The Fon people, also called the Fon nu, Agadja, or Dahomey, are a major West African ethnic and linguistic group. They are the largest ethnic group in Benin, particularly in the south. They are also found in southwest Nigeria and Togo. The Fon culture is well known for its religious ceremonies. Drums are always used as a sort of special meaning in every activity that takes place. Voodoo ceremonies usually begin with the playing of the drums, then an initiate will fall into a trance and become “possessed” by a spirit. Voodoo events are not only intriguing to group members, but to outsiders as well. Bocchios are guardian figures and are used to keep away evil spirits. They were thus provided with magical substances and received various sacrifices in order to consecrate them.
H: 49 cm (approx. 1’ 7”)
Estimated age: early 20th century
Provenance: Formerly part of a German private collection; Austrian private collection