Lot: 381

77th tribal art auction

Dance wand "oshe shango"

Nigeria, Yoruba

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
Gerd Stoll, Berchtesgaden, Germany
Rolf Miehler, München, Germany
Michael Oliver, New York, USA
Craig de Lora, New Jersey, USA
H: 15.7 inch 5000 EUR
plus 21 % commission, VAT, transport and insurance

wood, shiny reddish brown patina, encrusted in some areas, round handle with a flat platform on top, carved with a kneeling female figure with symmetrical arranged body, crowned by a massive double axe symbol, slightly dam. (eyelids, nose, rims of the double axe), missing parts at the base, traces of insect caused damage backside (double axe), on base; workshop of Aribikona Okunle from Gbongan (died 1970). A striking aspect of the "shango" cult is the reversal of gender role. Female devotees sink to the floor, like men do, but only at the Chiefs feet, while male dancers were called "women of shango" and wear female coiffures. During the ritual dance to the music of the Bata drum, the staff is vividly swayed to and fro.


Eisenhofer, Stefan (Hg.), Kulte, Künstler, Könige in Afrika - Tradition und Moderne in Südnigeria, Linz 1997, p. 209, III/2.7