Details

Title

Dance Staff for Sango

Artist/Maker

Yoruba Artist (Nigeria)

Date

early–mid twentieth century

Medium

Wood and pigment

Dimensions

Contact the museum for more information

Credit

Fred and Rita Richman Collection

Accession #

72.40.107

On View

On View - Stent Family Wing, Skyway, Gallery 401

Followers of Shango—the Yoruba thunder god and the deity associated with divine justice—carry dance staffs on ceremonial occasions. The kneeling female figure depicted on this dance staff represents a priestess or devotee of Shango. Shango is symbolized by the double-axe-blade motif, which refers to thunderstorms (Neolithic axe-heads are described as having being thrown down from the sky by the thunder deity).