Details

Title

Dance Staff for Esu/Elegba

Artist/Maker

Yoruba Artist (Nigeria)

Date

Late nineteenth–early twentieth century

Medium

Wood

Dimensions

16 x 3 1/2 x 8 inches

Credit

Fred and Rita Richman Collection

Accession #

1980.500.72

On View

Currently not on view

In this dance staff made to honor Èshù, two faces look in opposite directions. Èshù is a deity honored by the Yoruba people of Nigeria and known throughout the African Diaspora as Elegua or Elegba. Èshù mediates opposing forces to bring together different worlds. He bears messages from the ancestral and spiritual realms, opens doors, and guards crossroads. Shrines to Èshù are placed wherever there is potential for conflict. Though known as a mischief-maker and agent provocateur, Èshù ultimately works to promote order and harmony in the universe. Èshù teaches wisdom, reminding people to look at the world from more than one point of view.