Tribal art > Usual african items > Yoruba Altar
Opà Osanyin Yoruba wrought iron altar stick (N° 17959)
Aimed at the orisa (Yoruba god) Osanyin associated with herbal therapy, this stick was intended for the soothsayer or healer. Welded to a central pole that was planted in earth, two stems support a circular platform with a stage. It consists of patterns of birds, symbolizing divination, and bells cut out of metal sheets. The summit figure depicts a bird with outstretched wings, trimmed with pendeloques, which, laid flat, forms like a small protective parasol, like a bulwark against the evil powers. Shed the Yoruba of the Nigeri , these type of sticks were emblems featuring birds. Aimed at the soothsayers, they were used for divination ceremonies related to the god of herbalists and occult sciences, Osanyin supposedly working in concert with that of divination, Orunmila.
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These is in a room of the house reserved for this purpose that the large fon families of Benin (formerly Dahomey), neighbors of the Yoruba, kept similar portable altars, designed from pieces of metal. Known as Asen, these sticks were created for each ancestor, serving as intermediaries between the worlds of the living and the world of the dead. Prayers and offerings were performed during a ceremony called ahanbiba during the dry season. During complex funeral ceremonies, a Asen was dedicated to an ancestor and sacrifices were dedicated to him throughout the year. Welded to a central pole, two rods support a circular platform with a stage. It consists of patterns of birds and bells cut out of metal sheets. The summit figure depicts a bird with outstretched wings, trimmed with pendeloques, laid flat, shaped like a small parasol.
Sumery residues are embedded in iron, remnants of libations. total
H. on a metal stand: 144 cm.
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