Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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Eshu figure with shell attachments
  • Oyo peoples
  • Eshu figure with shell attachments, late 1800s–1975
  • Where object was made: North Oyo, Nigeria
  • wood, cowrie shell, shell, staining, leather, rawhide, pigment, carving, dyeing
  • Object Height/Width/Depth: 40 x 9 x 16 cm standing with shells draped
    Object Height/Width/Depth: 15 3/4 x 3 1/2 x 6 1/4 in standing with shells draped
  • Gift of Mr. and Mrs. H. Kenneth Palmer
  • Not on display
  • 2007.3098
Label Text

The standing human figure is identified as Eshu, with a prominent blade-like hairstyle on the head and long shell fringes from the neck. The figure is standing with arms bent across his abdomen, holding a rounded object, identified as a gourd medicine container. He is wearing a long sleeved shirt and trousers. His cheeks are scarred with marks reflecting the jawline and he has a raised hairstyle on the left side of the large blade. There is a thick leather band around the neck. Long fringes of cowrie shells strung on rawhide from braided blue leather hang down his back. There are tabs of pink leather at the loose ends. It has one large spiral shell. All of the shells have blue pigment in the recesses.