Altar stand in the form of a cuff

Yoruba peoples
probably 18th century
more object details

General Description

Ogboni (called Oshugbo in Ijebu) emblems include cast metal emblems with complex imagery. The altar stand/cuff is decorated with pairs of female figures, one with legs formed as a pair of mudfish. This symbolizes Olokun, god of the sea and a symbol of wealth.

Among the Yoruba, the Ogboni/Oshugbo society was simultaneously a civic court, a town council, a patron of the arts, and an electoral college that selected the king. Its membership was composed of distinguished religious, social, and political leaders, including women, who worked together to assure the well-being of the community.

Excerpt from

Roslyn A. Walker, Label text, Arts of Africa, 2015.