SPECIAL ADVISORY: The Yale University Art Gallery is free and open to the public from Tuesday through Sunday. Masks and COVID-19 vaccination (including booster, if eligible) are required.Review our Visitor Policies

African Art
PrevNext1 of 3
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
PrevNext2 of 3
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
PrevNext3 of 3
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery

Figure (Tadep)

early 20th century

Wood and pigment

17 1/2 × 4 × 6 1/4 in. (44.5 × 10.2 × 15.9 cm)
Charles B. Benenson, B.A. 1933, Collection
Not much is known about Mambila figures, which depict humans in a range of abstract forms, as they have been out of use since about the 1970s. The earlier assumption that they have been used in ancestor worship has recently been questioned. Instead, they may have been owned by associations concerned with illness and healing.
Guinea Coast, Nigeria
or geography Guinea Coast, Cameroon
On view
20th century

Possibly the Rosen Collection, unknown dates
possibly Daniel Hourde, Paris: unknown date - Feb. 16, 1990
Charles B. Benenson Collection, donated to Yale University Art Gallery in 2004


“Acquisitions, July 1, 2005–June 30, 2006,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2006): 222.

Frederick John Lamp, Amanda Maples, and Laura M. Smalligan, Accumulating Histories: African Art from the Charles B. Benenson Collection at the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2012), 75, 299, fig. 19.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.