Nomoli

A stone figure, known as nomoli in Mende, carved out of steatite, or soapstone. The age of figures like this one is relatively unknown, however there is evidence to suggest that they predate Portuguese encounters with the coastal areas of Sierra Leone in the 15th and 16th century. They are thought to have originally represented chiefs or group leaders. More recently, however, such figures have been re-discovered and used as rice gods to encourage high yields. Many believe them to be naturally formed, rather than carved. Other names that have been used for figures such as this one are pompta or mahe yafei . This example depicts a seated figure, wearing a shoulder ornament. It hands rest on a protruding stomach with a square-shaped hole bored into the front.

Related Videos

Further Information

  • Type: Figures, sculpture
  • Object: Nomoli
  • Materials: Stone
  • Culture Group: Other
  • Dimensions: 177.8mm [H]
  • Production Date: Pre 1970
  • Associated Places: Unknown
  • Associated People: Unknown
  • Museum: Sierra Leone National Museum
  • Accession Number: SLNM.1970.13.04

Related Objects

Nomoli

Figures, sculpture

Mahe Yafei

Figures, sculpture

Nomoli

Figures, sculpture

Mammy Water Figure

Figures, sculpture

Wooden Figure

Figures, sculpture