Ogo Elegba (Pair of Eshu Dance Wands)Late 19th century - Mid 20th century
Carved wood, leather, and shell
20 1/16 in. x 6 11/16 in. x 6 11/16 in. (51 cm x 17 cm x 17 cm)
Bryn Mawr College
Accession Number: 99.3.102
Other Number(s): 79 (168) (Neufeld Collection Number)
168 (Sotheby's Lot Number)
Geography: Africa, Nigeria, Southwestern Nigeria
Classification: Ceremonial and Performance Artifacts; Ritual Objects
Culture/Nationality: Ẹgbado, Yewa, Yoruba, Nigerian, West African, African
Collection: Neufeld Collection
This object has the following keywords:
African*, carving*, cowrie shell*, dance*, Egbado, Eshure, Nigerian, ritual objects*, West African*, wood*, Yoruba
- African - Refers to the cultures of the continent of Africa, which is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea.
- carving - The act of shaping, marking, or decorating wood, stone, or another material by cutting or incising, typically using tools such as chisels and other blades. It refers to this process as it is applied to small-scale objects or to objects that are not considered art. "Carving" may also be considered a sculpture technique that is employed in the creation of art.
- cowrie shell - Shell of any of numerous marine gastropod mollusks of a family widely distributed in warm seas; beautifully polished, often brightly colored, and much used for ornament or as money.
- dance - Discipline involving the study of dancing and movement, including performance.
- ritual objects - Objects used for a particular ritual activity, often as part of a ceremony.
- 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.
- wood - The principal tissue of trees and other plants that provides both strength and a means of conducting nutrients. Wood is one of the most versatile materials known.
This object was included in the following exhibitions:
- African Images, Western Imageries: Collecting and Recollecting African Bryn Mawr College , Sep 26, 1999 – Jun 15, 2000
- Highlights from the Mace and Helen Katz Neufeld Donation of African Art Bryn Mawr College , Sep 1, 1998 – Dec 1, 1998
- Homage to Nigeria, Selection from Southern California Collections The Bowers Museum , Oct 17, 1981 – Jan 3, 1982
- Tradition and Change in Yoruba Art Crocker Art Gallery , Mar 9, 1974 – Apr 14, 1974
Owner Name: Mace Neufeld and Helen Katz Neufeld, Class of 1953
Place: Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, USA
Acquisition Method: Likely Purchase from James Willis Gallery
Disposal Method: Donation to Bryn Mawr College
Owner Name: James Willis Gallery
Place: San Francisco, California
Disposal Method: Likely sold to the Neufelds or another collector or dealer
Ownership Start Date: Likely ca. 1974
Remarks: When exhibited March 9-April14 1974 James Willis Gallery was the owner of the pair of Eshu Dance Wands. At some point after that exhibition, Mace and Helen Neufeld became the owners.
The following Bibliography exist for this object:
Important Tribal Art
New York, NY, 1989
Figure Number: 168
- "African Heritage Document and Research Center." (Accessed June 11, 2020): AHDRC.eu. Record No.: 0101727.
The Bowers Museum,
Homage to Nigeria: Selections from Southern California Collections
The Bowers Museum.
Santa Ana, California, 1981
Figure Number: 21
Jeanette Jensen Arneson,
Tradition and Change in Yoruba Art
E. B. Crocker Art Gallery.
Sacramento, California, 1974
Page Number: 73, Figure Number: 44
The following Comparanda exist for this object:
- John Pemberton, "Eshu-Elegba: The Yoruba Trickster God." African Arts 9, no.1 (October 1975): 24.
- "Fowler Museum at UCLA Online Collections." (Accessed April 7, 2020): https://www.fowler.ucla.edu/collections/home/. Accession No.: X64.311.
The following Related Bibliography exist for this object:
- John Pemberton, "Eshu-Elegba: The Yoruba Trickster God." African Arts 9, no.1 (October 1975): 20-92.
- Monica Blackmun Visona and Robin Poynor. A History of Art in Africa (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc., 2001), 244-248. Figure Number: 8-30
- Rowland Abiodun, Yoruba Art and Language: Seeking the African in African Art (New York, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014), 284-289. Figure Number: 130
This object is a member of the following portfolios:
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