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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.5028
Origin: Southwestern Nigeria
Circa: 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 15" (38.1cm) 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. Floral and animal motifs are common on fans, and this one has a profusion of life. Four oblong shapes radiate from a large central one in which are small concentric circles and fish-like shapes swimming around groups of wavy lines. More aquatic creatures in the form of turtles populate the surface, with a large one on top. There is a wonderful sense of movement, of an underwater scene, which may in fact be a representation of the supernatural world. The priestess may therefore be seen to "possess" the means to control certain aspects of nature symbolized on her fan. - (PF.5028)


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