A pair of Yoruba bronze Ogboni staves, Edan

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Lot 2540
A pair of Yoruba bronze Ogboni staves, Edan
height 13 1/4in
US$ 9,000 - 12,000
£ 6,800 - 9,100

Fine African and Oceanic Art

13 Nov 2007, 13:00 EST

New York

Lot Details
A pair of Yoruba bronze Ogboni staves, Edan
Nigeria, of exceptional size, the bold and finely cast pair displaying characteristic iconography.
height 13 1/4in

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Katherine Coryton White

    Exhibited:
    National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, 1974
    Frederick S. Wight Art Gallery, UCLA, 1974

    Governors State University, IL, 2003; Krannert Art Museum, IL, 2003; Belger Art Foundation/University of Missouri-Kansas City, MO, 2004; Tall Grass Art Association, IL, 2005.

    Published:
    African Art In Motion, Thompson, R.F., UCLA, 1974. Pl. 94

    Bourgeois and Rodolitz, REMNANTS OF RITUAL: SELECTIONS FROM THE GELBARD COLLECTION OF AFRICAN ART, Ethnos, New York, 2003, p.18, fig.41

    Among the Yoruba, various religious organizations exist to placate the spirits and forces of nature in its myriad shapes and forms. One of the most powerful of these organizations is the secret society of Ogboni, composed of elders of Yoruba society who are considered “masters of the earth.” The primary identifying objects of the Ogboni Society are paired bronze staves known as “Edan.” Usually these objects are attached together with a piece of chain and cast over an iron rod, therefore unifying the magical forces associated with iron and brass. These would have hung around the initiates’ neck and down the chest as a visible symbol of rank at society meetings. The hand gestures of both figures are very important, in that they duplicate the greeting gesture of one Ogboni member to another.
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