Ax for Ogun

Accession Number
2006/2.73

Title
Ax for Ogun

Artist(s)
Yoruba

Artist Nationality
Yoruba (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
1925-1975

Medium & Support
wood and iron

Dimensions
20 7/8 x 2 3/8 x 10 11/16 in. (53 x 6 x 27 cm);20 7/8 x 2 3/8 x 10 11/16 in. (53 x 6 x 27 cm)

Subject matter
Ogun, the Yoruba orisa (god) of iron and war, is dear to those whose livelihoods rely heavily on iron such as blacksmiths, sculptors, tailors, barbers, drivers as well as scarifiers and circumcision specialists. Because Ogun is embodied in the sharpened edge of iron blades, those who use it are obliged to keep him satisfied in order for their tools to operate efficaciously. To honor Ogun, people occasionally spill sacrificial dog blood, snail mucous, or other appeasing substances on their tools to satisfy the needy god’s thirst.

Physical Description
Carved ax handle is comprised of a kneeling male figure with rounded knob on top of his head, into which the narrow end of a triangular iron ax blade is embedded.

Primary Object Classification
Arms and Armor

Primary Object Type
ax

Collection Area
African

Rights
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Keywords
ceremonial objects
ceremonial weapons
iron (metal)
tools
wars

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved