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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Yoruba Brass Fans : Yoruba Brass Fan of an Osun Priestess
Yoruba Brass Fan of an Osun Priestess - PF.5038
Origin: Southwestern Nigeria
Circa: 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 39.5" (100.3cm) high
Collection: African Art
Medium: Brass

Location: United States
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At the time when the sacred waters of orisa Osun are taken in brass bowls from the river to the shrine, the priestess carries her fan as an insignia of office. As a mediator between this world and the "other world", the priestess is able to interpret messages from the river deity Osun to her supplicants in response to their questions. She is also in touch with spirits of nature, using these natural forces to help people in a variety of ways.

The middle of this fan is dominated by a shape resembling the central part of the fleur-de-lis. It is like a proud flower rising from the earth, surrounded by a profusion of vegetation in the form of criss-crossed triangles, with open centers and striated borders. The central emblem gives the impression of strength, of a power that can penetrate the undergrowth to reach the sky; just as the power of a talented priestess can strike through into the unknown.
- (PF.5038)


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