The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of March 3, 2024

Dance Wand for Ṣàngó (osé Ṣàngó)

Dance Wand for Ṣàngó (osé Ṣàngó)

c. 1930s
Location: not on view


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 lightning 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 on the woman's cheeks to suggest the humanity of the god and the sacredness of the devotee.
  • ?–no later than 1968
    Gallery 43, London
    at least 1968–1974
    Katherine (Reswick Merkel) C. White
    The Cleveland Museum of Art by gift
  • Year in Review: 1974. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (March 11-April 6, 1975).
    CMA 1968: "African Tribal Images: The Katherine White Reswick Collection," cat. no. 119a, repr.
    CMA 1975: "Year in Review 1974," CMA Bulletin LXII (March, 1975), p. 98, no. 28
  • {{cite web|title=Dance Wand for Ṣàngó (osé Ṣàngó)|url=false|author=|year=c. 1930s|access-date=03 March 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

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