African art > Stick of command, chieftaincy > Yoruba Sceptre

Yoruba Sceptre (N° 21970)

Brandished in the left hand during ritual dances, this staff sculpted with the figure of a follower of the god Sango is surmounted by a stylized motif associated with the double stone ax that the god would hurl to earth during storms. The physiognomy is characteristic of Yoruba art, illustrated by the large almond-shaped eyes and the cheek scarifications. These sculptures refer to the god of thunder and youth Shango, or Sango. The latter would be the mythical ancestor of the kings of Oyo. He was also the protector of the twins, whose occurrence was very common in the region.
It is a deity feared for its unpredictability, and venerated because it would bring beneficial rains to crops. It is also to her that the fertility of women is attributed.

Abraded black patina.
Yoruba society is highly organized and has several associations with varying roles. While egbe male society reinforces social norms, the aro unites farmers. The gelede has more esoteric and religious aims. The notables meet in a society called esusu.  

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OriginEx-collection suisse
Height cm50
Width17 cm
Weight0.65 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle includedYes

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