This statue was carved in the style of the Yoruba people of Nigeria. The statue portrays a male Eshu figure that is decorated with cowrie shells, bones, seashells, and fabric. He is holding objects in both hands. The statue measures 16 inches tall and weighs 3.5 pounds. There is a small crack in front of the left foot – please inspect photos.
|Type of Object||
|Country of Origin||
Wood, Pigment, Cowrie Shells, Bones, Fabric, Seashells
Small crack infront of the left foot
About the Yoruba People
The Yoruba are the largest cultural group on the African continent, with nearly 40 million people. The word ‘Yoruba’ describes both the language and a tribe living across Nigeria and the Popular Republic of Benin, in an area of forest and savannah.
The Yoruba people’s primary living space is South-West Nigeria with substantial Yoruba communities in Benin, Togo and Sierra Leone but they are not bound by state or country borders. This area is often referred to as “Yorubaland”. Most of the terrain is either forest, woodland savannah, rich farmland or coastal swamps and lagoons.
The origin of the Yoruba people in Nigeria is heavily debated. Some believe they came from the east in Mecca, some say from the north in Egypt. Evidence shows that ethnically, Yoruba’s have been in the area known as Yorubaland since the 7th century BC. Scholars believe the area was probably inhabited earlier by peoples of the Nok culture. Yorubaland covers the modern-day countries of Nigeria, Togo and Benin. The term Yoruba to describe ethnicity, did not come about until the 16th century and wasn’t widely used until the 19th century. Before then, the Yoruba people were known by many names depending on who was acknowledging them. For instance, the Europeans referred to them as Akú, whereas in Cuba, they were referred to as O luku mi.
Read more about the Yoruba here.
About the Eshu Statue
"Eshu, also spelled Eschu, also called Elegba, trickster god of the Yoruba of Nigeria, an essentially protective, benevolent spirit who serves Ifa, the chief god, as a messenger between heaven and earth. Eshu requires constant appeasement in order to carry out his assigned functions of conveying sacrifices and divining the future. One myth depicts Eshu as tricking Ifa out of the secrets of divination; another, in which Eshu restores Ifa from his imprisonment in a palm tree, casts him as the founder of the Ifa religion."