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Yoruban Ose Sango Wooden Staff

West Africa, Nigeria, Yoruba, ca. early 20th century CE. A beautiful, hand-carved Yoruba Ose Sango (Shango Staff or dance wand) of a traditional form, with a janus-headed finial, both visages presenting skillfully incised facial features and arch motifs perhaps representing wrinkles on the forehead that repeat the contours of the browline. The heads are surmounted by an abstract double axe motif associated with Sango's cult, and the handle below is of a phallic shaft form with incised striated and fretted bands at the midline. The surfaces are embellished with vivid red and white pigment. A special ceremonial implement used by female devotees to the Sango cult, who traditionally sing and dance holding an Ose Sango or dance wand during annual Sango ceremonies. Sango, according to scholars, was the fourth Yoruba king who was deified and eventually became associated with thunder and lightning. Size: 11" H (27.9 cm); 11.25" H (28.6 cm) on included custom stand.

Condition: Expected surface wear with minor scuffs, nicks, and pigment wear commensurate with age.

Provenance: ex-Adeon Gallery, Chicago, Illinois, USA, acquired prior to 1970

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