Yoruba Orisha Oko Shaft & Beaded Sheath
I bought it at a New York gallery probably... 35 years ago. I've had it at home and enjoyed it ever since.
So what did you pay for it?
All right, I've seen a number of these. This is the most elaborate and really one of the finest Yoruba Orisha Oko shafts and beaded sheath that I've seen. This object was done by the Yoruba, and as you know, Nigeria is in West Africa, so this is a cult, the Orisha Oko cult, within the Yoruba tribe. Orisha Oko is a deity among the Yoruba for fertility. Orisha Oko protects the home, it ensures a good crop. Orisha Oko is a male deity. When they select a keeper, it's always a woman, and it is a priestess, and she has to go through a fairly long ceremony before she's qualified, and then she's in charge with keeping this. Some of this imagery, which this is... actually represents kind of a crown, it indicates that the owner of this was an extremely important individual. These figures I've never seen before, and they could be some sort of practitioners. You see here that they're holding things that could be references to other Yoruba gods like Shango, the god of thunder and lightning, or Eshu, the trickster god. And so you have this absolutely extraordinary beaded element from top to bottom. What makes this really special is it's in unbelievable condition. Now, we're looking probably a date, conservatively, of the first quarter of the 20th century. And the iconography is superb. This is sort of a sluggish market right now. I would give you an auction estimate of $10,000 to $15,000, expecting it to go much higher.
I feel confident that a gallery would ask $20,000 to $30,000 for this. So, how did you do on your investment?
I did okay, it's not bad.
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