African art > Post, Toguna, Dogon, Lobi, Ambete, sogho, oron > Yoruba pillar

Yoruba pillar (N° 11337)

The Yoruba, more than 20 million, occupy the south-west of Nigeria and the central and south-eastern region of Benin under the name of Nago.

They are patrilineal, practice excision and circumcision. Frequent in Yoruba African art, and for good reason, it is the central theme of the story named " The death and the rider of the king ". This fiction tells the funeral of the late King of Oyo, an ancient African state founded in the 15th century, neighbor of the Kingdom of Dahomey, and the tradition that his rider, Elesin, must commit suicide within thirty days of the death of the king in order to to follow in due course the Yoruba religious dogma. The death of the rider is indeed intended to guarantee the king a safe conduit to his new home. Elesin, a simple man enjoying life, is given a mission he does not want and ends up disappointing the Yoruba people who place high expectations in him. This post consists of two floors which each have a stage. In its lower part, two couples, priests and priestesses, perched on a circular promontory, support with their arms raised a seat on which rests a figure of warrior on horseback. Image of a deified ancestor, or that of an orisa, only the nobles could afford the acquisition of a horse. The character displays proportions much higher than that of his mount. The sculptor wanted to emphasize the face and the high symbolic headdress. The big hairstyle back evokes Esu, divine messenger and intermediary between the gods and the men.

Beautiful crusty patina with traces of polychrome pigments.  

 


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OriginEx. collection privée belge
EthnyYoruba
Countrynigeria
Material(s)wood
Height cm153
Width43 cm
Weight13.00 Kg
Estimated dating1950

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