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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Yoruba Sculptures : Yoruba Ogboni Brass Sculpture
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Yoruba Ogboni Brass Sculpture - PF.5987
Origin: Nigeria
Circa: 18 th Century AD to 19 th Century AD
Dimensions: 6.75" (17.1cm) high x 2.5" (6.4cm) wide
Collection: African
Medium: Brass

$5,000.00
Location: United States
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Description
The Yoruba are noted for the artistic excellence of their bronze work. Traditionally one of the most popular tribe among African art collectors and scholars, they are also famed for their fabulous beadwork and wooden masks and sculptures. As in most of Africa, the works of art are created to celebrate the wealth and splendor of the king, called the Oba by the Yoruba. Otherwise, most art relates to representations of ancestors and spiritual deities. This fascinating sculpture depicts a female warrior brandishing a massive sword. A snake has crawled from the ground onto her body and rests hunkered over her shoulder. The serpent might suggest that this woman possesses spiritual powers over the natural world. In her left hand she holds an object shaped like a wine bottle. Although this might be what it represents, since imported wine was considered an object of prestige to be consumed only by the royal court, this object might be a sistrum (a type of rattle) or even a headdress. Otherwise, this woman is elegantly garbed in a beaded skirt with two spiral coverings and carries a type of backpack with two pouches that fall under her arms. The styling of her facial features is typical of the Yoruba style, especially the bulging eyes. The combination of abstract and representational detail reveals that this figure is no ordinary woman but possesses a spiritual energy that cannot be conveyed by mimicking the forms of reality. Gazing upon this sculpture, we are transported back to the regal splendors of the royal court of the Oba. Likely presented upon a shrine or makeshift altar, this sculpture might have served as a spiritual guardian that warded off the forces of evil. Thus she will continue to protect us from harm today. - (PF.5987)

 

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