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    Artist Name:

    Yoruba Artist, Nigeria

    Title:

    Pair of Figures (edan Ògbóni)

    Date:

    ca. 1875-1925

    Medium:

    Brass and iron

    Dimensions:

    14 x 9 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches

    Credit Line:

    Gift of Bernard and Patricia Wagner

    Accession Number:

    2007.276

    Currently Not on View
    The male and female pair in Ògbóni iconography represents two different aspects of the same phenomenon. This can be inferred from the description of Mother Earth as “the male-like female” and from the Yoruba equation of maleness with harshness or hardness, and femaleness with tenderness or softness. By the same token, the chained pair may be detached and used as a semiotic device to convey important decisions of the Ògbóni society to members and non-members alike. A male figure has a negative connotation, indicating that an individual has committed a serious offense and will be judged. A female figure, on the other hand, implies good news such as being appointed a chief, exonerated from false accusations, or granted special favors.



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