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Fang Figural Broom Ritual Oracle Staff African Art 23 Inch

Product #: 113310
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Title Fang Figural Broom Ritual Oracle Staff African Art 23 Inch
Type of Object Carving, Figure, Statue, Sculpture
Country of Origin Gabon
People Fang
Materials wood, palm twigs, cotton cloth, resin, pigment
Approximate Age second half 20th century
Dimensions Height: 23.25 Inches
Width: 2.75 Inches
Depth: 2.75 Inches
Overall Condition Fair. 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.
Damage/Repair Minor chips, palm twigs broken, worn cloth

Additional Information: Without the carved head on the top, this piece broom would be nothing but just simple broom, an ordinary object of everyday use without any importance. But this is not an ordinary broom. The handle with an encrusted charge indicates the piece has been receiving offerings and sacrifices.

Such a broom was an important oracle staff used by priests, diviners, especially. Among many peoples in west and central Africa, including the Fang, brooms were used in several rituals and different ways. Their uses were determined by the priest who held them and their use were determined by the purpose of the ritual in process. Brooms such as this were employed as a fly whisk or a broom to chase away or sweep bad spirits. They were also used to punish people who swore false oaths and broke treaties. The priest would ask individuals involved in dispute to jump the broom in order to claim their innocence. Spirits would punish individuals who will not tell the truth.

When not in use broom would be placed on the shrine along with other ritual artifacts.