MediumWood, metal and leather
DimensionsApproximate : 4 ft. high (1.2 m)
Credit LineHope College Collection
LabelHistorically, many Yoruba people lived in villages and supported themselves by growing crops and raising animals on small family farm plots. This ceremonial staff was used in rituals honoring Oko, the Yoruba god of agriculture. It is made of iron re-claimed from old hoe blades. Between ritual uses, the staff would have been stored in a beaded sheath to protect it and preserve its spiritual power. As Nigeria became more urbanized and less reliant on small-scale farming in the second half of the 20th century, staffs like this fell out of common use and have ceased being made.