Yoruba, Nigeria

Edan Ogboni

20th century


Gift of George and Nancy Ellis


The edan consists of two figures, chained together at the head and usually made of brass. One is always a female, the other a male. They are said to resemble Onlie, the Earth’s spiritual owner. Brass, which does not rust, is melted over iron rods. The forms represent immortality, longevity, and well-being. Worn around initiates’ necks, the edans are used in Yoruba religious societies, as well as judicial, healing, and communication ceremonies, the most important being the worship of Mother Earth.

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