Yoruba Iron Osun Ematon Staff with Birds - PF.4907 Origin: Southwestern Nigeria Circa: 20
Century AD Dimensions:28.5" (72.4cm) high x 4.75" (12.1cm) wide Collection: African Style: Yoruba Medium: Iron
The Osun Ematon is used by Edo diviners and healers in their battle against witches. The accomplished witch is believed to be able to turn herself into a bird and fly through the night in search of victims. To effectively combat them, the diviner (Obo) is also able to transform himself into a bird for the passage into the nether world of spirits. The blacksmiths who make the staffs are often highly imaginative in depicting abstract representation of birds. The 'flock' congregating on the top of this staff are in a state of 'energetic' repose, as if they are about to scatter into the night. Their sharp wings and tails are both menacing and very clever in they way they give the impression of movement. The myth and magic embodied in this staff is brought to life through its artistry, representing an enduring symbol of the fascinating Yoruba culture.