Yoruba Shango Staff, Nigeria
H: 26 cm (10,2″), W: 6,5 cm (2,6″), D: 3,5 cm (1,4″)
The axe motif on the head of this figure symbolizes thunder and lightening. It is made by the Yoruba people in Nigeria. In the Yoruba culture, the thunder God, Shango, has a strong following. Cult members dance with small wooden staffs like this called Ose Shango. Shango is a legendary king whose reign is said to have come to an end because of misuse of his magical powers, which brought great storms down upon his people. Shango is associated with fertilizing rain, he is said to be truth-loving and should punish liars and thieves.
Provenance: Private Danish collection. It was either acquired directly from Lau (Laurence) Sunde’s collection in Copenhagen, which dates back to the 1940s, or Lau (Laurence) Sunde was an adviser to the collector.
Sunde had a “Etnografica” boutique in 1948, that became recognized among collectors as the most specialized boutique of its kind at the time. Tribal and oriental artefacts were purchased from private collectors as well as at auctions in Paris, Amsterdam and London, among other places.
Full description of Lau (Laurence) Sunde will be forwarded by request.
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