On both sides of the Niger live the Igbo. Traditionally, they have lived in small often isolated settlements scattered through the forest. Only on the northern and western edges of the area, under influence from Igala and Benin, are hereditary rulers found. In Igbo society there is strong social pressure toward individual distinction, and men can move upward through successive grades by demonstrating their achievements and their generosity. Family ancestor figures and figurines are placed either in family shrines or in larger village shrines. Prayers and sacrifices were offered to them to maintain the relationship with the spirits of the ancestors and to gain their good will for success. During annual festivities, these figures are taken out and paraded through the village. Igbo artists juxtapose diverse notions, such as: beauty vs. bestiality; the feminine vs. the masculine; black vs. white. This figure is a very fine example of vivid geometric lines, balance of the black and the white and striking beauty.