Dance Staff (Oshe Sango)

A work made of wood and pigment.

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  • A work made of wood and pigment.

Date:

Early 20th century

Artist:

Yoruba
Agbado region, Nigeria
Coastal West Africa

About this artwork

This dance staff has been carved in the form of a kneeling priestess holding a sacrificial chicken and ram. She wears a crown in the shape of Shango’s distinctive double axe, which symbolizes his dual character: violent and compassionate. These blades also evoke the Neolithic stone tools that are said to be hurled to earth by Shango during thunderstorms. Only senior priestesses or priests devoted to Shango can dance with such a staff in ritual performances and other events.

On View

Arts of Africa, Gallery 137

Artist

Yoruba

Title

Dance Staff (Oshe Sango)

Origin

Nigeria

Date

1900–1940

Medium

Wood and pigment

Dimensions

H. 38.7 cm (15 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Richard Faletti, the Faletti Family Collection

Reference Number

2003.177

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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