Woodcarving of colonial's boat tour Nigeria

Woodcarving of colonial boat tour
Woodcarving of colonial boat tour

Custodian: University of Glasgow Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery

Reference: GLAHM E.1983.78

This figurative wood carving by noted Yoruba artist Thomas Ona Odulate (also known as Thomas Ona) (c. 1900–52) shows a colonial figure transported in a boat rowed by four locals men and steered by a fifth.

Ona was active in the early-mid 20th century. He worked at Ijebu Ode, and later in Lagos, mainly producing subtly observed representations of Europeans, from colonial administrators and tourists to Queen Victoria, as well as some of Yoruba in traditional and contemporary roles. His sculptural style followed the traditional Yoruba proportions of a considerably larger head than torso and legs. His work has been identified as caricature or satircal, however, Ona himself denied this, maintaining that his works were simply observational.

Maker: Thomas Ona Odulate (c. 1900–52)

Materials: carved wood