35 inches wide X 29 inches tall CIRCA: 20th Century GENRE: PRESTIGE AND UTILITY SCULPTURE MATERIAL: ÌRÓKÒ WOOD, (NATIVE TO WESTERN NIGERIA) POLYCHROME PAINT, PATINA OF AGE. PROVENANCE: FROM THE BODE AGUSTO COLLECTION EXHIBITED: Carver Museum, Austin, Texas. September 6, 2012 – March 6, 2013 Exhibition # EC12-01234-24, Pages 144 & 206.
PUBLISHED: “ERE YORUBA (YORUBA SCULPTURE)” Quintessential Art By Yoruba Master Carvers. A magnificent pastiche Yorùbá ayò game board. A pastiche is an artistic work in a style that imitates that of another work, artist, or period, stylistic imitation that duplicates the style of previous work or known artist, or artistic piece consisting wholly or chiefly of motifs or techniques borrowed from one or more sources. Surmounted with Àrẹògún's trademark motorcycle riders, the rest of the sculpture is replete with popular Ọlọ́wẹ̀ motifs and signature icons, like the loosely carved head trapped within the open frame of the sculpture. Proficient "red herrings" of this quality could be a serious challenge to a connoisseur's eye or curator's skill, when mixed in with real Ọlọ́wẹ̀ pieces.
Mancala is a type of the many variations of this ancient board game, rather than any specific game. It is a board game known by different names in different regions of the world. The game is known as Ayò (the game board is called Ọpọ́n ayò)among the Yoruba in Nigeria, Boa in most of East Africa, Congkak in South Asia. Although the basic premise remains the same of simple mathematical strategy, there are as many variations of the carved board, as there are different names for the game. This aged, spectacular sculpture is a prestige piece attributed to the Yoruba maestro, Olowe of Ise. The word Mancala means "to transfer" in Arabic. Playing pieces are transferred from one bin to another during play. Ornately carved pieces like this were often commissioned by royalty or citizens of very high status. The Yoruba consider ayò game skill the equivalent of a Western intelligent quotient test.
“ERE YORUBA (YORUBA SCULPTURE)” Quintessential Art By Yoruba Master Carvers. Written by Craig D. Fashoro. Forward by Dr. Henry J. Drewal ISBN 978-0-9912904-0-6 Published by Art Book Bindery, Manitoba Canada (ere-yoruba-art.com) Auction estimate $4,000 -$5,000.