Artists & Designers

Akobi Ogun Fakeye (c. 1870-1946)

Sculptor Akobi Ogun Fakeye's name means "the first-born of Ogun." Ogun is the Yoruba god of iron and the patron saint of woodcarvers. Akobi Ogun (c. 1870-1946) was the son of a sculptor but chose not to carve. According to his son Lamidi Olonade Fakeye (b. 1925), an internationally known sculptor whose work is installed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Akobi Ogun contracted smallpox when he was about twenty years old. Ifa divination revealed that Akobi Ogun's destiny was to follow the "family work of woodcarving" and because he had denied his destiny, he was punished with smallpox. After making sacrificial food offerings to Ogun, Akobi Ogun entered into an apprenticeship with a master sculptor named Tayewo who lived in the town of Ila Orangun. Three years later, Akobi Ogun established his own atelier. Akobi Ogun Fakeye carved at least two other arugba Shango in addition to the example in the Dallas Museum of Art's collection, one of which is in a German private collection and the other in a British private collection [1991.138.A-B.FA].

Adapted from

  • Roslyn A. Walker, The Arts of Africa at the Dallas Museum of Art (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2009), 112-113.

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