This finely executed staff is surmounted by the carved depiction of a horse and male rider. Such images of horsemen are rare to find on Yoruba Shango staffs.
Equestrian figures are potent symbols of power in many parts of Africa, where the ownership of horses was long restricted to warriors and political leaders. Speed, strength, the ability to physically elevate their riders, and the cost to acquire, sustain, and replace them made horses, and by association their owners, symbols of power and prestige. As a result, in African art, horse-and-rider imagery generally connotes prestige, wealth, and power.
Ex Monika Wengraf Collection, UK
Estimated Period: First Quarter of 20th Century
H (Excl. Base): 32cm
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