African art > The fetish, this emblematic object of primitive art > Fon fetish
Fon Voodoo fetish (N° 20027)
Ex-collection British African art.
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This pair of wooden fetishes intertwined with leather cords and straps, whose facial features seem to have been eroded by time, is typical of the Voodoo cult.
The numerous ritual libations are at the origin of this crusty patina characteristic of the Fon ethnic group.
The multitude of Fon gods (the vodun), similar to those of the Yoruba under different names, is represented by fetishes of all shapes and all kinds. Their shrines are found in Togo, Dahomey, and western Nigeria. Statuettes embodying the legba, protectors of the home, are often attached to them. The faithful administer daily offerings and libations to them, supposedly to activate their power. The Fon are currently found in a part of the Republic of Benin called the Kingdom of Dahomey. According to legend, a princess of Yoruba origin created this kingdom before the 17th century. These ethnic groups have the same social structure: a society led by a chief where the age of the men determines their social position. Voodoo or vodun, a religious cult whose name comes from a variant of the Yoruba word for "god", is particularly common among them.
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|Material(s)||wood, fibres, cuir, résidus organiques|
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