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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Yoruba Edan Sculptures : Yoruba Lead Edan Sculpture
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Yoruba Lead Edan Sculpture - PF.4751
Origin: Southwestern Nigeria
Circa: 16 th Century AD to 18 th Century AD
Dimensions: 18" (45.7cm) high x 3.5" (8.9cm) wide
Collection: African
Medium: Lead

Location: UAE
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The Ogboni society consists of the elders of a village or city who have decision-making powers. Each Ogboni house possesses a pair of Edan, small bronze or metal rods decorated with two figures, male and female whose heads are bound by a chain. It is believed these figures radiate authority and power that comes from their heads, and is reflective of the moral and political authority of Ogboni elders. The figures are separate beings, yet connected by the chain, indicating the union of opposites that is a very important principle in Yoruba religion.

This handsome figure has the “classic” elongated face and wide, flattened cheeks. A lovely peaked cap, to which the ring is attached, adds height and further dimension to the entire figure. The archetypal model for such Edans includes broad shoulders and very long arms. These features may represent a standard of beauty, or an image carried on from generation to generation as wholly representative of desirable attributes. The expression on the face is intended as a model to show the moral vigilance of the society whose influence extends even to the king. Despite the ravages of time this Edan stands firm and proud, defiant and noble--just as the members of the important Ogboni society.
- (PF.4751)


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