ca. 1875-ca. 1938
Sculptor to kings, Olowe of Ise is still honored among the Yoruba. His praise song says that he could carve iroko wood as though it was as soft as a gourd. The delicacy and dramatic composition of this bowl exemplify his talent, which embodies the standards of Yoruba art in iconography and proportions yet pushes them to their limits and redefines the rules.
This prestige bowl, owned by someone of high status, likely held kola nuts, a traditional gesture of hospitality presented to guests and offered to deities during rituals.