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Yoruba Shango Rainmaker Four Faces Nigeria Africa

Product #: 127178
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Title Yoruba Shango Rainmaker Four Faces Nigeria Africa
Country of Origin Nigeria
People Yoruba
Materials Wood, leather.
Approximate Age second half 20th century
Dimensions Height: 9 Inches
Width: 2.50 Inches
Depth: 1.75 Inches
Overall Condition Good. Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners.   Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use.  We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings.  Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.

Additional Information:  The cult of Shango, three centuries old, worships Shango who was once a human King, but became an orisha, a God. The devotees who are carved are female, but the orisha is male, and is associated with thunder and lightening. A person may inherit the worship of Shango from parents, or be "called" individually. The figure carries the double axe on his head.  This joined stone tool symbolizes shango's lightning and his dualities as creator and destroyer, and recalls the Shango symbol associated with thunder and lightening. This is a confirmation that this object was used as a dance wand carried by devotees of the Shango, the Yoruba thunder god."Shango is a complex deity who creates and destroys, who through his powers causes lightning and flash and thunder to crash. “The dance wand was carried at the annual festival. The staff will be danced with a dramatic mime of lightning striking the ground portraying the potential of power of the thunder god Shango"

See a number of examples of these wands in Fagg and Pemberton's YORUBA.

see also Daniel Mato and Chelsea Cooksey, YORUBA: ART OF LIFE. The Bennett-Luther Collection,(p. 21, fig.5)

Recommended Reading:

Drewal , H. J. and J. Pemberton III, with R. Abiodun Yoruba: Nine Centuries of African Art and Thought, (New York, 1989)

Drewal, H. J. and M. Thompson Drewal., Gelede, Art and Female Power among the Yoruba. 1983.

 Fagg, W. and J. Pemberton III: Yoruba Sculpture of West Africa, (New York, 1982)

Lawal, B.: The Gelede Spectacle. Art, Gender, and Social Harmony in an African Culture. (Seattle, London 1996)

Mato, Daniel, Chelsea Cooksey, Yoruba: Art of Life. The Bennett-Luther Collection, Denver 2004 

Witte, H.: A Closer Look; Local Styles in the Yoruba Art Collection of the Afrika Museum, Berg en Dal. 2004.