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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Yoruba Staffs : Yoruba Iron Osun Ematon Staff
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Yoruba Iron Osun Ematon Staff - PF.4908
Origin: Southwestern Nigeria
Circa: 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 25" (63.5cm) high x 5" (12.7cm) wide
Collection: African
Style: Yoruba
Medium: Iron

Location: United States
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The Edo diviners and herbalists pay special homage to two of their gods; Ogun, god of iron, and Osun, a spirit entity manifested in leaves and herbs. The proper use and knowledge of herbs and medicinal plants enables the diviner to cure, divine and also to battle witches. In the fight against malevolent witches iron staffs are used as protective devices. The distinctive shapes of bells or rods on this handsome staff emphasize the connection between the obo (diviner) and others who use iron tools. The cluster at the top is formed of two pairs of rods on either side of a large flared inverted bell. There is an obvious floral association, representing in highly abstract form the herbs and flowers used by the expert diviner in his medicinal preparations. What we see as a work of art was conceived as an indispensable instrument for use against the forces of evil for the purpose of helping others. This raison d'etre gives the staff a meaning beyond its beauty, and allows the viewer to enter the mysterious world of Yoruba ritual magic. - (PF.4908)


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