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This information was automatically generated from data provided by MOA: University of British Columbia. It has been standardized to aid in finding and grouping information within the RRN. Accuracy and meaning should be verified from the Data Source tab.


Standing wood shrine figure. Body is rectangular in shape and has geometric and linear motifs incised on the front and sides. Hide collar, coloured black, wrapped around neck. Figure has a wide nose, pronounced brow and lips, and angular eyes. Has a ponytail that protrudes sharply from the back of the head. The end of ponytail connects to the figure's back. Lines incised on portions of hair overtop of head, hanging portion of ponytail is thin and smooth. There is a small gap between the ponytail and the back of the figure’s neck. Extending from all sides of the hide collar are strands of cowrie shells. Long strings of black, red and white glass beads are tied around the ponytail with light brown thread. Two copper coins and one small brass(?) bell are attached to the bead strings, hanging down the back of the figure. Plain brown tie, with knotted ends, is strung between the ponytail and the neck of the figure.

History Of Use

This figure represents Eshu, the messenger of Olodumare, the Ifa Creator God. He is a trickster who can be good or bad, trustful or mischievous, and can deliver prosperity or cause misery. Clearer of paths, Eshu is the protector of travellers. He mediates between the spiritual and mortal worlds, which makes him the custodian of all rituals and overseer of all sacrifices to the gods. His hair style is unique, symbolizing power that is both creative and destructive. This power enables him to sanction properly performed rituals, granting good fortune to those who comply while bringing misery to those who fail. Eshu is often represented on the shrine alongside other deities.

Item History

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