Yoruba Linked Pair of Brass Edan Sculptures

SKU PF.4957



19 th Century AD to 20 th Century AD


10.75″ (27.3cm) high x 3.75″ (9.5cm) wide




Southwestern Nigeria

Gallery Location



The Edan, along with Onile brass figures, are very important symbolic objects for the powerful Osugbo society. Though we see them as aesthetic creations, to the Yoruba 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. This uniquely expressive pair has features distinguishing them from many other Edan. The male carries a staff on which are two very small heads. The female has a baby in her arms nursing contentedly, with its left hand placed gently on the other breast. The small heads probably represent ancestor figures. The emphasis on fertility is typical of such figures that are always depicted naked with prominent sex organs. This emphasizes the mystical power of procreation, and the cohesive unity of male and female as a family unit crucial to the stability of the community at large. The elaborate headdresses and earrings are also a special feature. Though distinctly Yoruba in style, this Edan touches a chord in all of us who admire the virtues presented in this work of art. – (PF.4957)

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