Yoruba Osanmasinmi Head 20″ – Nigeria – African Art



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This Yoruba statue is a beautiful piece of artwork. It was carved from a single block of wood and portrays a human head with ram like horns, known as Osanmasinmi. It measures 20 inches tall and weighs 18.5 pounds. There is some cracking, chipping and scuffing throughout – please inspect photos carefully.

Type of Object

Figure, statue

Country of Origin






Wood, Pigment

Approximate Age










Overall Condition

Some cracking, scuffing and general wear and tear throughout.

Additional Information

Ram's Head (Osanmasinmi)

Tribe Information

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.

Additional Information

About the Ram's Head (Osanmasinmi)

This style of artwork is typically found in the Owo region of Yorubaland. Ram's heads or human heads adorned with horns, are thought to honor ancestors. Traditionally, these sit upon a shrine or altar for royals or chiefs to communicate with passed ancestors during yam festivals.