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Eshu Dance Staff

Eshu Dance Staff

1800s

Wood, leather, cowrie shells

62 cm (24 7/16 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 2018.34

Fun Fact

If Eshu isn’t properly honored, trouble may befall the community or individual.

Description

Eshu (also called Esu or Elegba) is the “trickster god” and messenger in the Yoruba pantheon of gods. Bearers of sacrifice and guardians of the ritual way of life, Eshu are associated with crossroads, the market, and home entrances. The present object is unique: It features male and female figures; both have the extended hook-shaped coiffures (at times referred to as phallus) typical of Eshu’s representation.

See also
Collection: 
African Art
Department: 
African Art
Type of artwork: 
Wood

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