According to Senator Babafemi Ojudu, the man in this photograph lived in the last century. He was born by a slave mother in Efon Alaaye, Ekiti State and sent later to serve as a servant in the palace of Arinjale of Ise Ekiti. That was where he developed his talent as a carver.
He made his renown as a carver of doors, veranda posts, thrones and decorative in the palaces of Ekiti and Akoko kings.
His fame has however gone afield to the rest of the world.
”I once viewed the exhibition of his works at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC and I was awed.
Baba Olowe was a great carver, and his works are incredible and have been celebrated all over the world by art critic, collectors and connoisseurs. He was uneducated, self-thought but a genius.
A critic said this of him: “Olowe of Ise, became a widely celebrated artist for his virtuosity of invention and design developed through the production of a range of notable and important royal commissions in the early 20th century.”
Oddly enough he is not even known, remembered or recognized in his home Ekiti State.
Most of his works which survived are now held in museums and private collections in America and Europe. Learnt though that some of his carvings may still be available in the palace of Ogoga of Ikere Ekiti. Will check this out soon and also see if there is any one left in his lineage.”