Skip Navigation

Figure of a Female (Nyeleniw)

Arts of Africa

MEDIUM Wood, metal
DATES 19th or 20th century
DIMENSIONS 22 1/2 x 6 1/8 x 5 1/2 in. (57.2 x 15.6 x 14 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of Africa
CREDIT LINE Gift of Marcia and John Friede
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Reddish brown wooden female figure with arms held away from sides and hands joined to hips. The coiffure is a high crest with an angular indentation at the back. The torso and head are quite angular in character. The breasts are conical shaped and protrude. Incised geometric patterns appear on face, neck, chest and front and back of torso. Encircled around left wrist are thin reeds - part of a native repair. The legs are far apart and set into the figure's own oval shaped base. The hips are carved as a flared skirt, visible from the sides and back, but not from the front. There are incised geometric designs on the skirt. Condition: traces of white pigment around legs at base, on torso and neck markings, and on head. Right arm was broken away above elbow and has been rejoined. A break at right wrist was also broken and rejoined. Both rt. and left skirt cracked and held in place by native repair with 2 large metal staples. Numererous checks throughout.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Bamana. Figure of a Female (Nyeleniw), 19th or 20th century. Wood, metal, 22 1/2 x 6 1/8 x 5 1/2 in. (57.2 x 15.6 x 14 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Marcia and John Friede, 76.20.1. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 76.20.1_SL1_edited.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 76.20.1_SL1_edited.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form (charges apply). For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch. For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright. If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.