Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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brass fan
  • Yoruba peoples
  • brass fan, late 1800s–1975
  • Where object was made: Nigeria
  • brass, incising, stamping
  • Object Length/Width: 42 x 26 cm
    Object Length/Width: 16 1/2 x 10 1/4 in
  • Gift of Mr. and Mrs. H. Kenneth Palmer
  • Not on display
  • 2007.0197
Multimedia
Description

A brass fan with a round blade and a loop on the handle. The blade is decorated with a long oval incised with diamonds, each with a circle in the center and a small circle at each point. The area outside the diamonds is incised with fine lines. There are two lizards on either side of the oval. Their bodies are stamped with small circles, their tails are incised with fine lines, and their heads and necks are stamped with lines of small squares. There is an oval with crosshatch decoration between the lizards and the fan's edge, and another oval with herringbone stamping at each lizard's head. There is a fish shaped animal at the top of the blade with crosshatch designs. There are lines of small circles between the design elements and there are large circles stamped around the perimeter of the blade. The handle is decorated with crosshatched stamping on the narrow portion and large semicircles filled with stamped rows of squares on the enlarged end.

This fan is identified as one used in ceremonies honoring Oshun, the river goddess, and the decorative elements on the fan are references to her.