National Museum in Lagos, Nigeria

December 19, 2007, National Museum, Lagos, Nigeria


Ose Sango (dance wand), #95.5.1(b), wood, Sango holding bowl (anigba), mortar, in left hand, rattle in right hand, kneeling with right knee on base, left bent with hand resting on it, plus emblem with bird on top of head

Ake Sango (Sango axe), #88R920, wood, iron (blade), Janus figure with blade mounted at right angle to handle

Edun Ara (thunder stone), #R.5.25, 3cm high

Items sacred to Sango: rain, ayan tree, sese beans, banana, thunder stones

Arugabe Sango (Sango bowl), #61.5.98-86.5.19, base with wide oval faces, on base four small female figures, two holding their own breasts, other two holding some object, with large female figure in center of base, prominent breasts, hands reaching up to bowl on head with ornate lide and various figures holding onto what may be ayan trees with two leaves or branches (or feathers?) separating at the top

Yata (“Beaded� dance panel) [said “bearded� on placard], #69.6.39, cloth, beads, leather, beaded face, diamond designs, descending triangle and striped designs in blue, yellow, white, green, burgundy, silver, light blue

Ogboni society – secret society, aka Osugbo among Egbo and Ijebu, comprising town council, civic court, and electoral college for selecting and removing the king

– Edan Ogboni, #47.19.4, bronze, smiling face with conical cap, holding tools, seated on small stool, what looks like bird standing on belly with beak attached above bellybutton

– Ada Ogboni, #74.1.1348, bronze, almost the shape of a bell with a flat shaft on top, figures with disproportionate faces, slit eyes, and mouths, above bent knees

– Edan Ogboni, #59.24.91, bronze, male and female figure, attached by chain through loops on top of figures, hands on sternum over amulet hanging from necklaces, protruding bellybutton, symbolic genitals, small legs bent at knees


– Agogo Ifa (divination bell), #51.16.266, iron, (painted?) white, four bells on each side of central shaft, including ringers

– Iroke Ifa (Ifa rattle), #64.9.60, wood, handle comes to a point, woman with prominent breasts, left hand on left breast, right hand holding object, lines radiating from protruding bellybutton, tall bowl on head, cowrie shaped by a ???

– Agera Ifa (Ifa cup), #68.2.32, wood, bird standing in center of base with horizontal serpent in beak, its tail touching another serpent on one side and biting another serpent on the other side – the side serpents part of vertical poles supporting the cup which has a broad lip with diamond patterns

– Opon Ifa (Ifa tray), #64.9.433, wood, square base, stool with four legs and radial pattern in circle at each upper corner, kneeling woman wearing dress with sash and necklace with semicircular amulet, many bracelets and cap, arms raised to support circular tray on head with border of elaborate design incorporate circles, birds, diamonds, cross hatching, and braided knots

IGBO– Divination rattle, #EN.76.3.33.(A-F), bone, calabash, seed


Ewawa (divination stool), #74 B 1.201, wood, cowrie, leather, iron, cloth, looks almost like a small drum

Divination cup, #BM.5.21, brass, looks more like lid with handle on top than cup, circular ornamentation on half sphere face down, cowries and other objects represented in brass, braided eyebrows, slit eyes, cheek markings (scarification?), small triangular mouth

Ukpago (bronze cup with 19 divination seeds), #76 B 1.13(A-B), seeds actually small bronze amulets of cowry, face, ring, cone, disk with radial pattern, bird, balls, figures, etc.

Mumuye figure, #74.1.292, from Muri Division, Adamawa State, who recognize supreme being called Ia identified with the sun, have two cults, Vadosu symbolized by horned mask, protect household, detect the guilty and punish them, 86cm high wooden figure with bowed legs, male genitals barely visible under woven cloth around waist with cowries and string of beads around waist, prominent bellybutton, fiber cord wrapped around neck, inquisitive eyes with floppy ears or cap, including circle with radial pattern on each flap, some etched patterns on cheeks and below neck (scarification?)


Ozo titled men, #55.9.13, wood, tall wooden statue mounted on base, wearing bowler hat (?), diminutive bent legs, prominent male genitals, protruding bellybutton, holding animal horn (?) in left hand and rifle in right hand, striped design carved on neck and face, and mouth with inward-pointing teeth

Ozo highest traditional title among Igbo, insignia include: osisi (staff of official), ugo (eagle feather), okwa-chi (lidded container in shape of boat), imanzu (white clay), azuzu (leather fan), ikenga (?), and okike (?).


Osun, river goddess with shrine including brass figures, 16 cowries for divination

– Orinle pot, #74.1.24, clay, looks like a bell in the shape of a crouching figure with bowl mounted between knees, protruding breasts, “armsâ€? and rear support spine with rippling bumps, near-conical face with horizontal and vertical scarification, slit eyes and mouth, small lump in center of hollow interior

– Laba Sango (beaded bag), #70.1.579, cloth handled (red with white border) bag with extensive bead work in blue, yellow, red, white, and bronze colors with floral, braided knot designs and a face with two black oval eyes, three vertical marks scored on each cheek, a long vertical nose, and a red diamond symbol bordered in white-blue-white on the forehead, also three bells dangling on beaded strands from bottom of bag

– Oyi masquerade, #66.7.272, cloth, cowrie, beads, wood, leather, iron, fiber, animal horn, brass, seed, body covered entirely by bluish cloth, capped mask on top of hidden head, horn, fiber, and wooden figures hanging from head, cowry and seed strands dangling, along with a bell, a whop, a metal spoon, a beaded and netting bag, represent visitation from ancestors, appear with music, singing, dancing, drama in motion, performed at night only by men in Nigeria, with potentially fatal punishment of women


Masquerade, #56.10.122, cloth raffia, hair, leather, long raffia strands, extend from top of head to ground, yellow scarf with red and green stripes wrapped around head above which is human or animal hair, patterned and multicolored vertical cloth concealing dancer within, red cordage with hanging bulbs and tassle bundles attached to vertical cloth in serpentine lines


Osamasinmi (ram head) #65.1.22, wood, from Owo, placed on altars of chiefs of lineage, sacrifices made at New Yam festival to obtain fertility, fairly crudely carved


Ikenga, #73.1 or J or I.47.1, horned figure representing strength of right hand, if owned by individual, broken when person dies


Ikenga, #58.35.6, wood, conical with braid pattern below more abstract pattern with thinner stake coming to a point at the top


Atinga staff, #51.16.399, wood, white chalk, blue powder, pole with platform 1/3 way up on which rests woman with protruding breasts holding baby breastfeeding in left hand and sheep in right with pole continuing above head in disked spine with odd-shaped emblem on top (see drawing in journal), indicating dignity and nobility


Ofo staff, #55.2.1, wood, less than one foot long, rubbed with medicine, held by eldest son of family, indicating dignity and nobility


Ukhushe, #71.6.21, wood, longer staff with closed hand, thumb pointing up, at top of staff, carved sections


Ijoku Ogun (Ogun stool), #67.1.186, white and green wood, god of iron, hunting, and warfare, stool has men holding guns at rest as poles alternating with plain poles in front and back, panels with clocks at each end, stool top carved with braided and circular patterns, as well as a crocodile in an oval in the center

Lots more… see the books I purchased there.

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