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Graue Linie
Edan Staff of the Ogboni-Society

Yoruba, Nigeria
17th century
25 cm


Expertise. Logo

edited since 2008
old german collection 1960
Graue Linie

Translated by DeepL
The Ogboni Covenant is the most important socio-religious institution of the traditional Yoruba. The covenant therefore includes all traditional leaders, including the dignitaries of the local religious cults, the district nobles, important court officials and military leaders.

The social status of its members makes the Ogboni covenant not only a religious group responsible for the cult of ancestors and ancient traditions, but also a very powerful institution involved in the adjudication of all social, political and legal issues, playing an important role in the complex network of power and power control as a counterweight to the sacral power of the ruler.

Each member of the covenant received a pair of figures called Edan after initiation. These pairs of figures were kept in the family shrine and taken to meetings at the Ogboni house. The figurines, made in yellow cast iron, were usually connected with a chain and referred to living members of the Ogboni covenant.

Our very rare and unusually old object captivates by a very fine elaboration and by an upper crossbar instead of a usually usual chain. This gives the object the character of a scale and refers to the balance of power between male and female in our western understanding. The repeating contours of the figures in the vertical central bar are also remarkable.

Graue Linie
  Karl-Ferdinand Schaedler
Dobbelmann, Theo (1976). Der Ogboni Geheimbund
Berg en Dal: Afrika Museum

Graue Linie

The Iconology of the Yoruba Edan Ogboni - Africa: Journal of the International African Institute

  Beluga Beta - Universität Hamburg. Weiterführende Literatur

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