Yoruba Shango (Shonga) Staff, Nigeria
H: 28 cm (11″), W: 10 cm (3,9″), D: 2,5 cm (1″)
Staffs are carried and danced with by priestesses and priest in the Shango cult, dedicated to Shango, the Yoruba deity of thunder and lighting. The femalee devotee kneels in worship while balancing the axe on her head. In the Yoruba culture, the thunder God, Shango, has a strong following. Cult members dance with small wooden staffs called ose Shango. These staffs most often depict a single female figure whose head supports a double axe. This double axe motif, which represents thunderstones is the most important element associated with Shango. It represents Shango’s ability to hurl thunder celts into the community and hereby punish wrongdoers. Shango is associated with fertilizing rain, he is said to be truth-loving, generous and should punish liars and thieves.
Age: Early 20th Century.
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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