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Chip-carved Male Figure with a Drum

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Chip-carved Male Figure with a Drum


Lamidi Olonade Fakeye

Creator Biography

Lamidi lonade Fakeye, b. 1928 in Ila Orangun, Nigeria, d. 2009 in Ile-Ife, Nigeria.
Fifth generation Fakeye wood carver.
Taught as Artist-in-Residence at multiple US Universitues and joined the faculty at the University of Ife, Nigeria in 1978. Named a "Living Human Treasure" by UNESCO.


Yoruba Culture

Place Made

Nigeria, West Africa


Lamidi Olonade Fakeye (1928-2009) was a fifth generation artist of the famous Yoruba woodcarving family, the Fakeye, and he was one of the greatest traditional African woodcarvers of modern time. He was best known for combining traditional Yoruba styles with themes from both traditional and contemporary society, and he serves as a woodcarving instructor at Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria. This male figure with a drum is readily identifiable as Yoruba because of its traditional style, but it is different in its refinement, as it was carved using the chip-carving method, one of Fakeyes strengths. Well executed chip-carving requires a great deal of skill, but it provides very sharp geometric details. The figure represents a well-dressed musician who holds a cone-shaped drum that he beats with a curved drumstick. As drum percussion serves as an integral part of Yoruba religion and ceremony, this sculpture likely celebrates the status and contributions of such musicians.

Researched by Elizabeth Austin, MSU Student, 2005, Under the direction of Dr. Billie Follensbee


20th Century

Item Dimensions

31.5 cm h. x 9.5 cm w. x 6.5 cm d.






Carved Design


Frances Davis Extended Loan, 1974.

Acession Number


Accession Year


Photo Number

20200050, 20200051, 20200052, and 20200053