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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Yoruba Onile Sculptures : Yoruba Lead Onile Sculpture of a Woman
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Yoruba Lead Onile Sculpture of a Woman - PF.4750
Origin: Southwestern Nigeria
Circa: 17 th Century AD to 19 th Century AD
Dimensions: 4.875" (12.4cm) high x 2" (5.1cm) wide
Collection: African Art
Style: Yoruba
Medium: Lead

Location: United States
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Onile, or "Owner of the House", are free-standing figures usually found in pairs. They are cast at the founding of a settlement and establishment of an Osugbo Lodge, and will serve an entire Lodge. They symbolize the original progenitors, the male and female members of the Osugbo, and by extension the entire community.

This figure of lead shows the female in a characteristic pose holding tightly onto a cylindrical object with both hands. This may be an indicator of the navel as a focal point of energy; or it may have a fertility association. The double peaked cap, like horns, is a divided version of the male's single horn or peak. Her bulging eyes, elongated chin and thick nose are typical attributes. She is the very image of solidity, honor and trust; virtues encouraged in both sexes. The edan evokes the union of man and woman, promoting the idea of mutual understanding, love and harmony.
- (PF.4750)


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