• Creator
  • Yoruba (African people) Social life and customs
  • Created Date
  • 7-8-02
  • Description
  • The long staff is roughly wrought (hand-made) out of iron. There are two clusters of long, narrow cones attached along the shaft and another inverted cluster at the top, supporting a disk and a simple, abstracted bird form. A diviner is one who practices divination, the art or practice of foreseeing future events or obtaining secret knowledge through divine sources, omens or oracles. In southern Nigeria, distinctive wrought iron staffs used by... more
    The long staff is roughly wrought (hand-made) out of iron. There are two clusters of long, narrow cones attached along the shaft and another inverted cluster at the top, supporting a disk and a simple, abstracted bird form. A diviner is one who practices divination, the art or practice of foreseeing future events or obtaining secret knowledge through divine sources, omens or oracles. In southern Nigeria, distinctive wrought iron staffs used by healers and Ifa divination priests feature motifs that suggest a gathering of birds, which celebrate Osanyin, the god of herbal medicines. Osanyin guides the diviners' use of leaves in preparing medicine for clients. Diviners may carry their staffs in public processions to signal the fact that they are preparing to make a divination, or to mark a significant occasion such as the initiation of a new priest. The staff is one of a diviner's most valued possessions. He places it in front of his house as both an emblem of his vocation and as a protected safeguard. Representations of birds in Yoruban ritual art evoke the mystical power commanded by female elders, "the mothers". This procreative power can be beneficial or destructive. A bird depicted at the top of an Ifa staff is referred to as the "bird of Ifa". They are believed to invoke the power of the hawk. African Folk Tales; African Novel Study. 16 History; 18 Social Systems; 25-27 Fine Arts. less
  • Format
  • Divinerstaff