Esu Dance Staff (Ogo Elegbara)

A work made of wood.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of wood.

Date:

Mid–/late 19th century

Artist:

Attributed to an unidentified Ketu master (active mid-19th century)
Yoruba
Nigeria
Coastal West Africa

About this artwork

This dance staff for the deity Eshu depicts a warrior flanked by a bound captive and a nursing mother. This work was made during a turbulent period of civil war. The warrior’s cap is depicted as a crooked phallus, which is a symbol of Eshu—the divine messenger, facilitator, and provocateur—and allows for the staff to be hooked over the shoulder.

On View

Arts of Africa, Gallery 137

Culture

Yoruba

Title

Esu Dance Staff (Ogo Elegbara)

Origin

Nigeria

Date

1825–1900

Medium

Wood

Dimensions

25.4 × 12.7 × 12.7 cm (10 × 5 × 5 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Anne R. Whipple and Jay Whipple in memory of Anne's son, W. Philip McNulty III

Reference Number

1991.396

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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