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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.5045
Origin: Southwestern Nigeria
Circa: 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 10.125" (25.7cm) high x 6.5" (16.5cm) wide
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 suppliants 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.

Concentric circles twirl inwards towards the center of this fan. Each is a separate band of zig-zag lines alternating with those comprised of small circles. The inner portion is a cross with a floral-like motif. The vertical band has very fine criss-crossing lines, while the horizontal bar is composed of two bands of small circles. The cross is symbolic of a place of meeting, in this case the meeting of the powers of gods and nature. In a sense, the priestess's fan is like a mirror reflecting nature and the non-physical world through abstract designs; here beautifully depicted with its delicate form and scrolled handle.
- (PF.5045)


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