Large figural carvings were made by the Ibo for their men's houses of which one in Asaga Ohafia is illustrated by Cole (H.M., & Aniakor, C.C., Igbo Arts Community & Cosmos, UCLA, 1984, p.98, Pl.19). Called obu nkwa 'house of images' it was designated a national monument in the 1950s by K.C. Murray and thus spared the ravages of the Biafran war.
A maternity figure by the same hand as the present figure was collected from a men's house at Obubra on the Cross River (Leuzinger, op.cit., p.188,no.M1) but the exact names of the figures are not recorded. The rounded forms of both sculptures reflect the influence of their easterly neighbours, the Ibibio. Cole (op.cit.p.8) describing the background to such carvings writes: 'Public cults addressing tutelary deities (agbara/alusi) or legendary founders of a community were corporate patrons with custodianship of wooden and/or clay figural sculptures ... they also sponsored annual festivals....In the community men's houses groups of architecturally integrated sculptures and paintings were found, especially in Abiriba and Ohafia.'