A Fon bocio power figure on custom-made stand – Fon people

A Fon bocio power figure on custom-made stand – Fon people
Mid-20th Century, Ex UK private collection

Tribe: Fon
Origin: Benin
Approximate age: Mid-20th Century
Materials: Wood, clothes, metal
Dimensions (HxWxD): 47x12x12 cm


An amazing Fon Bocio stake with nice patina from the offerings that were poured over it. Some magical substances are clothed to the abdominal area. A small offering pot is tied to the legs.
A beautiful authentic item with great presence.


Typically the bocio are wood carvings enhanced with medicines that are packed inside them or attached in packets, and with paint and objects such as horns, beads or chains. Often they are bound, clothed or pegged to hold in the magical powers. The bocio objects are linked to gods, forest spirits or the dead, or to animals or plants that have properties associated with these beings. Bocio are activated or empowered by assemblage, speech, saliva, heat in the form of pepper and alcohol, knotting and offering to the higher power or deity. Some have pointed bases so they can be driven into the earth, the source of power for the trickster deity Legba. These can only be activated once. Others may have plinth bases and may be activated more than once.

Reference from Suzanne Preston Blier

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