“The people living on the banks of the Niger and Benue Rivers share many social and artistic traditions. They are thought to have common ancestors known as the Akpoko people. Traditionally, they principally make their money by acting as trade intermediaries between the inland people and the people who inhabit the Niger River Delta.

The Afo people settled north of the junction of the Niger and the Benue Rivers. Their Okeshi figures are used by members of the Alanya Beshi society during annual festivities related to fertility rites. They are carved as seated or standing female figures with overall linear body and face scarifications. Caryatid stools were also made. Recent studies have suggested that these sculptures, attributed to the Afo, may, in fact, have been carved by northern Nigerian tribes, themselves influenced by the Fulani people.”

Source:

Baquart, Jean-Baptiste. The Tribal Arts of Africa. New York: Thames and Hudson Inc. 1998. Print.