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Yoruba Shango Staff, Nigeria
- Yoruba Shango Staff / Scepter, Nigeria
- When not in active use, a Shango Staff would have been visible on an Altar dedicated to Orisha Shango, a Deified former King of the Yoruba City of Oyo. In public, the Staff / Scepter would have been carried by a woman or man inducted into the Priesthood of Shango. These Priests invite Shango to possess them, making the Deity accessible to the gathered worshippers. In this Possession Trance, the Priests dance with a Scepter like this one held in their left hands, a signal that the occasion is outside of the realm of Normal Life, where one would use the right hand for most tasks.
- Orisha Shango is a major Deity of the Religion of the Yoruba of Southwestern Nigeria, the Edo People of Southeastern Nigeria, and in the religion of the Fon People of Benin, who call him Sogbo or Ebioso. Many of the Yoruba Gods (Orishas), are both a Deified Ancestor and a Natural Force, both aspects being associated with a Cult and a Priesthood.
- The Ancestral Shango was the Fourth King of the State of Oyo. Oral Tradition described Him as Powerful, with a voice like Thunder and a mouth that spewed Fire when He spoke.
- The Natural Forces associated with Shango are Fire and Lightning. His most prominent Ritual Symbol is the Oshe, a double-headed Battle-Ax. Statues representing Orisha Shango often show the Oshe emerging directly from the top of his Head, indicating that War and the Slaying of Enemies are His essential attributes. The Oshe is also used by Shango’s Priesthood. While dancing, Priests hold a wooden Oshe close to their chests as protection or swing it in a wide chest-high arc. During Shango’s Reign on Earth, He selected the Bata Drum as the specific kind of drum to be played to honor Him. Shango is said to have played Bata Drums to summon storms; they continue to be used by his devotees for that purpose.
- Measure Approx. 8 1/2" tall x 2 1/2" wide, 10" tall with base
- Cast nickel aluminum
- Origin is Nigeria
- Collected in 1986, this Shango Scepter has been in the Collection of the Owner of Beads of Paradise for 34 years.