Beaded Yoruba Staff

c. 1950
$1,880 USD
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W: 9.0" D: 3.0" H: 78.0"
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The Yoruba people reserve the use of glass beads for royalty, priests and priestesses, as well as embellishing ritual and ceremonial objects. Though only kings are allowed to use beaded regalia, this beaded staff serves as a surrogate for the ruler in their absence. A staff like this would be carried as a prestige object to show status as it gives whoever holds it the authority to speak.

This staff has an all-over beaded pattern with colorful geometric designs as well as a horseback figure embellished with tassels. The iron point at the base of the staff serves both practical and symbolic purposes. The staff, like the oba (king), can be planted or rooted firmly in place, standing vertically to assert power, authority and action.

From the collection of Frances and Gary Comer.

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