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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Yoruba Beaded Works : Yoruba Beaded Flywhisk
Yoruba Beaded Flywhisk - PF.4999
Origin: Southwestern Nigeria
Circa: 1900 AD to 1940 AD
Dimensions: 16" (40.6cm) high x 6.5" (16.5cm) wide
Collection: African
Medium: Beads

Location: United States
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Beaded fans, footrests, staffs and flywhisks, are the property and privilege of Yoruba kings (Obas). Whatever the king wears, whatever the king holds, must be worthy of his rank. Therefore an object such as this lovely flywhisk is elevated above the ordinary by its artistry and by its association with the king. The main staff is composed of alternating red, black, gold and white bands, with one of turquoise at the base above the leather handle. Two "flying" tassels on either side extend from the upper portion. The conical shape of the ends of the tassels dangling with strings of multi-colored beads resembles the Oba's crown. Crowning the top of the staff is a stylish bird, done mainly in black with feet of green and blue and a tail blended with red and white. Birds are associated with the spiritual power of woman and the magic of witches, both of which the king respects and controls. Like royal scepters this flywhisk possesses an inner "authority" in its flamboyant array of colors. It utilizes the property of beads to transmit light through matter as a symbol of the king's reputed ability to cross boundaries between the real and supernatural worlds. - (PF.4999)


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