I bid on this November 2001 on Ebay. It is similar to a piece pictured in Judd' African and American Costumed Dolls. p. 56. They call it the "tree of life" and write that the one pictured in their book is made of mpingo wood, It is supposed to be the Mahoka, a"strong positive life force that protects and nurtures he animals, trees and people who depend on the forest for a living." Judd values that one at from $120 to $150.00.
While I did not get this particular figure, I purchased a similar one at a store at Lenox Square Mall in Atlanta later