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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Yoruba Brass Fans : Yoruba Brass Fan of an Osun Priestess
Yoruba Brass Fan of an Osun Priestess - PF.5034
Origin: Southwestern Nigeria
Circa: 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 13.75" (34.9cm) high
Collection: African Art
Medium: Brass

Location: United States
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At the time when the sacred waters of orisa Osun are taken in brass bowls from the river to the shrine, the priestess carries her fan as an insignia of office. As a mediator between this world and the "other world", the priestess is able to interpret messages from the river deity Osun to her supplicants in response to their questions. She is also in touch with spirits of nature, using these natural forces to help people in variety of ways.

Looking at this fan is like peering through clear water to life below the surface. Fish swim through a forest of plants composed of connected striated triangles. Three birds stand on the "bank" just above a large snake, similar to the one on the opposite side. A central tubular shape has two ellipses in the middle, one filled with lines, the other empty. Snakes, fish and birds represent land, sea and air; and all three animals are connected with life on the river. The priestess's ability to communicate with the supernatural world through nature is here beautifully represented in a powerful design of mythical origins.
- (PF.5034)


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