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Staff, Yoruba, Nigeria, 19th-20th century (wrought iron) (see also 136693-95)

Staff, Yoruba, Nigeria, 19th-20th century (wrought iron) (see also 136693-95)


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Staff, Yoruba, Nigeria, 19th-20th century (wrought iron) (see also 136693-95)

HSC136692 Staff, Yoruba, Nigeria, 19th-20th century (wrought iron) (see also 136693-95) by African School; 73.5x33x19 cm; Private Collection; (add.info.: probably represents Osanyin god of divination; birds represent the metaphysical domain of life and death, sickness and healing; bow and arrow suggest the hunting deity Oshoosi; carried by diviner in procession;); Photo © Heini Schneebeli

Media ID 31713346

© Heini Schneebeli / Bridgeman Images

Afterlife Cult Ironwork Magic Power Sorcery


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EDITORS COMMENTS
This print showcases a staff from the Yoruba tribe in Nigeria, dating back to the 19th-20th century. Crafted with exquisite wrought iron, this staff is a testament to the artistic and cultural richness of African craftsmanship. Measuring at an impressive 73.5x33x19 cm, this staff holds great significance within Yoruba religious practices. It is believed to represent Osanyin, the god of divination, who holds immense power over life and death, sickness and healing. The presence of birds on the staff symbolizes the metaphysical realm that encompasses these aspects. Additionally, the inclusion of a bow and arrow suggests a connection to Oshoosi, the hunting deity in Yoruba mythology. This further emphasizes its role as an important ceremonial object carried by diviners during processions. The intricate detailing and symbolism embedded in this staff highlight its importance within Yoruba culture. It serves as a tangible representation of their beliefs in magic, sorcery, power, and afterlife cults. Preserved within a private collection today, this remarkable piece offers us a glimpse into centuries-old traditions and rituals practiced by one of Africa's most vibrant cultures. Its presence evokes curiosity about ancient customs while celebrating the enduring beauty found within African artistry.

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