Tag Archives: Komaland

Object of the day: a Komaland figure uncovered at Yikpabongo (Ghana) in 2008

Image courtesy of the The Universities of Ghana and Manchester, and the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (GMMB)

Image courtesy of the The Universities of Ghana and Manchester, and the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (GMMB)

This man on a horseback, photographed at the moment of its discovery, is one of the 60 Komaland figures that is currently exhibited by the Manchester Museum. This group of objects were discovered during archaeological fieldwork directed by Prof. Ben Kankpeyeng and involving colleagues such as Prof. Tim Insoll (University of Manchester) working with the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (GMMB). These figurines were found in a village called Yikpabongo in Koma Land in the north of Ghana. They come from two mounds thought to be used as a shrine by the makers of the objects. The exhibition catalogue, Fragmentary Ancestors: Figurines from Koma Land, Ghana, is freely available here. The Fragmentary Ancestors exhibition opened to the general public on 25th October 2013 and runs until 5th May 2014. Pictures of the exhibition can be found here. On this page, you can see more pictures of the archaeological excavations.

These figurines have been dated to between approximately 500 and 1300 AD. Using computed tomography scanning techniques at The University of Manchester, the team revealed hidden channels within the objects which they think had a medicinal function, used for liquid ritual offerings. See some results here.

a Komaland figure uncovered Manchester Museum

Koma horse and rider Manchester Museum