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Rattle staff (ipawo ase)

This is a finial for a staff of authority (ipawo ase) among the Ogboni society, which is usually fashioned in the form of an abstract human head or figure and contains small jingle bells attached. It is customarily held and used by Ogboni senior titleholders in greeting, and the jingling sound is believed to emit "ase" (spiritual energy) that neutralizes evil forces. This example is made of cast brass and has a bearded man smoking a pipe, and wearing a headdress with a bird on top. The finial has a hollow conical base (re-cast at some point) that would fit onto a staff, and a central solid stem. There are two frames of jingles around the figure and the conical base.

  • Culture:Yoruba
  • Period:
  • Materials:
  • Specific materials/techniques:
  • Decorative elements:The stem and base are decorated with dots and a circular and swirl design.
  • Inscriptions:
  • Hornbostel-Sachs category:112.121 Pendant rattles
  • Repository:Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum
  • Measurements:Height: 357mm; Width: 100mm; Diameter: 70mm