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    Description

    Yoruba (Nigeria, Western Africa)
    Sango mortar altar
    Wood and blue pigment
    Height: 16 inches

    The Yoruba deity Sango is the god of thunder and lightning. According to mythology, he was the third king of the Oyo Empire. Known for his warrior spirit and supernatural abilities, he became a deity. Devotees are most often depicted holding a double ax representing the supernatural stone ax thrown by Sango to create lightning.

    This massive, dual-purpose mortar/altar is deeply carved of hard, very heavy wood. Among other functions, it acts as a stool which initiates sit on and are 'mounted' by the god. Turned upside down, it functions as a mortar. The act of copulation is symbolically represented by the pounding of the pestle inside the mortar. It is also a place to house ritual objects related to Sango.

    This figure is holding a double axe in his proper right hand. In his other hand is a spherical object, likely a thunder rattle as evidenced by the decorative pattern on the head. On his chest is a skull that extends out like an appendage. In the Yoruba language, the word skull is the same used for a type of calabash used in shrines to hold the items linked to the particular god. The features are roughly cut and enhanced by a bright blue. The body and coiffure are angular and blocky, and the face features scarification typical of Yoruba sculpture. As an art object it is very powerful, with a commanding presence for display.


    Condition Report*: Condition report available upon request.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2014
    16th Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 466

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