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Yoruba Linked Pair of Brass Edan Sculptures - PF.6054
Origin: Nigeria
Circa: 19 th Century AD to 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 9.5" (24.1cm) high
Collection: African
Style: Yoruba
Medium: Brass

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When a new member is initiated into the prestigious Osugbo society, an Edan pair is made to commemorate the event. Important as a symbol of ancestral unity, the Edan connects contemporary members with their ancient counterparts, whose spirit is still alive within the Osugbo lodge. The figures, such as this very handsome pair, are always male and female, with their sexual organs prominently displayed; thus reinforcing the crucial need for cooperation between the sexes in maintaining balance in society. Linked by a chain at the head, or headdress as in this case, they represent the original male and female members of the Osugbo, and are regarded as containing Ase, or a spiritual life-force of their own. The male and female are similar in structural composition, with their hands resting on their stomachs and their legs wrapped around their backs. They exude a feeling of reverence and piety, as if seated before their gods. While, at the same time, projecting an impression of quiet confidence in their position as members of an organization that has the power to influence kings. The Edan are in fact regarded as possessing spiritual power used to decide judicial questions, forecast the future, ward off evil and aid the sick. This elegant pair embodies the essence of what the Osugbo society stands for: justice, observation of proper religious ideals and community solidarity; all beautifully represented through an artist's superior skill. - (PF.6054)

 

 

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