Old Oshe Shango dance stick / Nigeria, Yoruba people / First half of the 20th century

20th century
Tribal Art
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Old Oshe Shango dance stick.
The base of the dance stick has a part used for gripping surmounted by a pattern presenting a series of vertical lines, the latter being surmounted by a female representation kneeling in a posture of respect. The latter is dressed in a simple loincloth adorned with chevrons and tied by a link at the back of the body. The arms are glued along the body, the hands each receive a ceremonial ax, ankles and wrists receiving a series of three bracelets. The body is characterized by a slender dynamic accentuated by the smallness of the chest. The broad face with classic features receives two large protruding eyes with pierced pupils in their center and surrounded by ridged eyelids. The short and flat nose overlooks a mouth with full lips. The top of the skull is decked out with a high stylized headdress from which the lightning stone emerges, evoking an ax.

The most popular Yoruba deity, Sango the god of lightning is the subject of special ceremonies in which the initiate brandishes the dance stick to the sound of percussion. The dance movements and the sounds produced by the percussionists reproduce the swirling winds and the roaring thunder thus echoing the divinity. The faithful then brandish the Ose Sango with a rapid movement above the head and then direct it with the same speed towards the ground. During this choreography, it is through dance and trance that the believer comes out of his body to be inhabited by the divinity who then transmits the power of lightning to the initiate.

Without base: 13.2 x 50.7 cm
Condition: Significant erosion at the base and at the back of the part due to xylophagous (stabilized)
Provenance: Former American collection


Style Tribal Art
Century 20th century
Materials Wood
Shipping Time Ready to ship in 1 Business Day
Location 38090, Villefontaine, France

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