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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Masterpieces of African Art : Yoruba Linked Pair of Brass Edan Sculptures
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Yoruba Linked Pair of Brass Edan Sculptures - PF.6955
Origin: Nigeria
Circa: 19th th Century AD to 20th th Century AD
Dimensions: 13.25" (33.7cm) high
Collection: African
Medium: Brass


Location: Great Britain
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Description
When a new member is initiated into the prestigious Osugbo society, an Edan pair is made to commemorate the event. Important as a symbol of ancestral unity, the Edan connects contemporary members with their ancient counterparts, whose spirit is still alive within the Osugbo lodge. The figures, such as this very handsome pair, are always male and female, with their sexual organs prominently displayed; thus reinforcing the crucial need for cooperation between the sexes in maintaining balance in society. In this case, the pair represents two males, suggesting that they were not always attached together, but originally linked to female partners who have since been separated. Linked by a chain at the head, they represent the original members of the Osugbo, and are regarded as containing Ase, or a spiritual life force of their own. The figures are similar in structural composition, with their arms wrapped around their wide stomachs and hands resting alongside their genitals. They project an impression of quiet confidence in their position as members of an organization that has the power to influence kings. The Edan are in fact regarded as possessing spiritual power used to decide judicial questions, forecast the future, ward off evil and aid the sick. This elegant pair embodies the essence of what the Osugbo society stands for: justice, observation of proper religious ideals and community solidarity; all beautifully represented through an artist's superior skill. - (PF.6955)

 

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