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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)
Gift of Mace Neufeld and Helen Katz Neufeld, Class of 1953

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
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.

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Additional Image 99.3.95.a-b_BMC_.a_2.jpg

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<ref name=BMC>cite web |url= |title=Edan Ogboni (Pair of Figurated Staffs) |author=Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections |accessdate=7/30/2021 |publisher=Bryn Mawr College</ref>

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