Dancewand

Dancewand

c. 1930s

Wood, beads, and pigment

Overall: 38.7 cm (15 1/4 in.)

Gift of Katherine C. White 1974.207

Description

Dancewands for the thundergod Shango celebrate the power and presence of the divinity. Renowned for his fiery temper, Shango was a powerful warrior king later identified with the thunderous roar and flashing lightening of the storm. The double-bladed stone blade, a key symbol of Shango, is shown at the top. The kneeling female is a follower of Shango. The position of Shango's symbol on the worshipper's head alludes to possession trance when god's spirit enters an individual's inner, spiritual head uniting devotee and deity. The scarification patterns on the double-blade repeat those on the woman's cheeks to suggest the humanity of the god and the sacredness of the devotee.

See also
Collection: 
African Art
Department: 
African Art
Type of artwork: 
Sculpture

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Is something not working on this page? Please email help.website@clevelandart.org.

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email imageservices@clevelandart.org.