- Label Text
- Among the Yoruba, a large bird in the center of a gathering of birds symbolizes the ability to control supernatural forces and the power of good subduing evil. This iron staff represents the power of the herbalist, a priest of the gods of healing, Osanyin and Erinle.
- On this staff, the bird is blatantly male, and with four legs and a curving tail, it probably represents a combination of the bird image with that of the chameleon, a symbol of transformation.
- Iron staff with central figure of four legged male bird-chameleon like creature with upward turned club tail. Below the central figure's feet is a circle of fifteen birds facing inwards and one four-legged larger bird on a spike. The support rod of each bird is wrapped around the circle.
- Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Cohan, Riverdale, New York, -- to 1984
- Data Source
- National Museum of African Art
- Yoruba artist
- Early to mid-20th century
- Credit Line
- Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Philip C. Cohan
- H x W x D: 84.3 x 23.5 x 23.5 cm (33 3/16 x 9 1/4 x 9 1/4 in.)