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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Yoruba Edan Sculptures : Yoruba Brass Edan Sculpture of a Woman
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Yoruba Brass Edan Sculpture of a Woman - PF.6062
Origin: Nigeria
Circa: 19 th Century AD to 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 11.5" (29.2cm) high
Collection: African
Medium: Brass

Location: United States
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When a new member is initiated into the prestigious Osugbo society, an Edan pair is made to commemorate the event. Important as a symbol of ancestral unity, the Edan connects contemporary members with their ancient counterparts, whose spirit is still alive within the Osugbo lodge. The figures are always male and female, with their sexual organs prominently displayed; thus reinforcing the crucial need for cooperation between the sexes in maintaining balance in society. Linked by a chain at the head, or headdress as in this case, they represent the original male and female members of the Osugbo, and are regarded as containing Ase, or a spiritual life force of their own. Although the male counterpart has been lost (notice the remnants of the connecting chain), this female is stunning upon her own. She carries an elongated child who suckles on her sagging breast, no doubt symbolizing the fertility of this woman. Both mother and child feature the bulging eyes that are characteristic of Yoruba art. The Edan are in fact regarded as possessing spiritual power used to decide judicial questions, forecast the future, ward off evil and aid the sick. This elegant sculpture embodies the essence of what the Osugbo society stands for: justice, observation of proper religious ideals and community solidarity; all beautifully represented through an artist's superior skill. - (PF.6062)


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