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Edan Ogboni (Pair of Figurated Staffs)

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Image of Edan Ogboni (Pair of Figurated Staffs)

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unknown Yoruba
Yoruba Primary

Edan Ogboni (Pair of Figurated Staffs)

20th century
Copper Alloy

10 13/16 in. x 2 3/16 in. x 1 3/4 in. (27.5 cm x 5.5 cm x 4.5 cm)

Bryn Mawr College
Accession Number: 99.3.95.a-b
Other Number(s): 33 (154) (Neufeld Collection Number)
154 (Sotheby's Lot Number)
Geography: Africa, Nigeria
Classification: Ceremonial and Performance Artifacts; Ritual Objects
Culture/Nationality: Yoruba, Nigerian, West African, African
Collection: Neufeld Collection
Description: The Ogboni society is one of the most prominent associations in Yorubaland, consisting of female and male elders who are responsible for ensuring that the leader does not abuse his power. Pairs of these brass figures are commissioned whenever a new member is inducted into the society. Always comprised of a male and a female figure, the brass pair represents the male and female founders of the Ogboni society and their ability to work together as one body and the necessary balance they provide to the wider community. Unlike other ritual symbols belonging to the Ogboni society, edan are allowed to be viewed by the general public. Imbued with ashe (spiritual power or life force), the edan have the ability to provide protection to the wearer and to relay messages.

Keywords Click a term to view the records with the same keyword
This object has the following keywords:
  • African - Refers to the cultures of the continent of Africa, which is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Nigerian
  • West African - Styles and cultures from the region comprising the westernmost area of the African continent, defined by the United Nations as including the modern nations of Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.
  • Yoruba

Additional Images Click an image to view a larger version
Additional Image 99.3.95.a-b_BMC_.a_2.jpg

Exhibition List
This object was included in the following exhibitions:
  • Exhibiting Africa: Ways of Seeing, Knowing, and Showing Bryn Mawr College , Jan 25, 2017 – Mar 5, 2017
  • Enid Cook Center Grand Opening Exhibition Matt Feliz , Aug 21, 2015 – Dec 20, 2015
  • Rare Gifts: An Exhibition in Celebration of the Library's Friends Bryn Mawr College , Sep 19, 2014 – Jan 30, 2015
  • African Images, Western Imageries: Collecting and Recollecting African Bryn Mawr College , Sep 26, 1999 – Jun 15, 2000

  • figure Dimensions: 10 13/16 x 2 3/16 x 1 3/4 in. (27.5 x 5.5 x 4.5 cm)

  • Owner Name: Mace Neufeld and Helen Katz Neufeld, Class of 1953
    Role: Donor
    Place: Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, US
    Ownership End Date: 12/17/1997

Bibliography List
The following Bibliography exist for this object:
  • Important Tribal Art Sotheby's . New York, NY, 1989
    Figure Number: 154
  • Gina Siesing, "From the Director," Mirabile Dictu: The Bryn Mawr College Library Newsletter 18 (Fall 2015): 3.

Comparanda List
The following Comparanda exist for this object:
  • "African Heritage Document and Research Center." (Accessed June 11, 2020): Record No.: 0103711.
  • "African Heritage Document and Research Center." (Accessed June 11, 2020): Record No.: 0103897.

Related Bibliography List
The following Related Bibliography exist for this object:
  • Tom Phillips, ed. Africa: The Art of a Continent (Munich; London; New York: Prestel Verlag and Royal Academy of Arts, 1999), 416-417. Figure Number: 5.78a
  • "ÌMỌ̀ DÁRA." (Accessed May 10, 2020):
  • Stefan Eisenhofer, ed. Kulte, Künstler, Könige in Afrika: Tradition und Moderne in Südnigeria (Linz, Austria: des Oberösterreichisches Landesmuseums, 1977), 218-231.
  • Hans Witte, Earth and the Ancestors: Ogboni Iconography (Amsterdam: Gallery Balolu, 1988),

Portfolio List Click a portfolio name to view all the objects in that portfolio
This object is a member of the following portfolios:

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=BMC>cite web |url= |title=Edan Ogboni (Pair of Figurated Staffs) |author=Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections |accessdate=6/2/2023 |publisher=Bryn Mawr College</ref>

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