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Opo Ile (Veranda Post)

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Bookmark: http://triarte.brynmawr.edu/objects-1/info/145983



unknown Yoruba
Yoruba Primary



Opo Ile (Veranda Post)

19th century - 20th century
Carved, painted, and incised wood with pigment

55 in. x 8 in. x 7 1/2 in. (139.7 cm x 20.32 cm x 19.05 cm)

Bryn Mawr College
Accession Number: 99.5.58
Other Number(s): 84-15 (Neufeld Collection Number)
Geography: Africa, Nigeria
Classification: Architectural Artifacts; Architectural Elements
Culture/Nationality: Yoruba, Nigerian, West African, African
Collection: Neufeld Collection
Formed from a single piece of wood, posts such as this were often created to support the roof of a spiritual shrine or the house of an elite member of Yoruba society. At the base of this post, a woman kneels in supplication. Women, as the prime possessors of ase (spiritual power or life force), are viewed as ideal spiritual and social intercessors. The other figure, a man holding a rifle in his left hand and a sword in his right, is a symbol of power and protection. Together they represent the people who provide support for those in leadership positions in society.

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.
  • female - Referring to the sex that normally produces eggs or female germ cells.
  • knives - Cutting instruments consisting of a blade with a sharpened longitudinal edge fixed in a handle, either rigidly as in a table-, carving, or sheath-knife, or with a joint as in a pocket- or clasp-knife. Knives may be used to cut food, especially in serving and eating, as weapons, and for other purposes. The blade may be of steel or another metal or stone, as in the flint knives of early man, or of another material such as ivory or wood (as with a paperknife). The term also refers to tools that are shaped or used as knives, even if the edge is not particularly sharp or actually used for cutting.
  • male - Referring to the sex that in reproduction normally produces sperm cells or male gametes.
  • Nigerian
  • rifles - Firearms having a rifled bore and designed to be fired by one person from the shoulder.
  • 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
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Exhibition List
This object was included in the following exhibitions:
  • African and Pacific Art from the Neufeld Collection Bryn Mawr College , Apr 28, 1993 – Jun 1, 1993

  • Owner Name: Mace Neufeld and Helen Katz Neufeld, Class of 1953
    Role: Donor
    Place: Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, US
    Ownership End Date: 7/18/1991


Bibliography List
The following Bibliography exist for this object:
  • "African Heritage Document and Research Center." (Accessed June 11, 2020): AHDRC.eu. Record No.: 0180120.

Comparanda List
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Related Bibliography List
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Portfolio List Click a portfolio name to view all the objects in that portfolio
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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=BMC>cite web |url=http://triarte.brynmawr.edu/objects-1/info/145983 |title=Opo Ile (Veranda Post) |author=Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections |accessdate=7/3/2022 |publisher=Bryn Mawr College</ref>

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