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.
- Dance Staff (Oshe Sango)
- Wood and pigment
- H. 38.7 cm (15 1/4 in.)
- Gift of Richard Faletti, the Faletti Family Collection