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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Yoruba Brass Fans : Yoruba Brass Fan of an Osun Priestess
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Yoruba Brass Fan of an Osun Priestess - PF.5033
Origin: Southwestern Nigeria
Circa: 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 16.5" (41.9cm) high x 11.125" (28.3cm) 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 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.

A pattern of joined triangles filled with concentric circles dominates the center of the fan. Around the edge is a very long twisting snake whose head touches its tail. A wide open space is left between the inner triangles and the outside border. The snakes are framed by concentric circles connected by small dots. In Yoruba culture, art and ritual are integral to each other and inseparable. The physical and non-physical worlds are symbolized through the language of art in often cryptic and beautiful designs as seen on this fan, which probably are of ancient origin.
- (PF.5033)


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