staff with bird finial; iron

Diviner's Staff, 20th century



Gift of Bruce B. Daytonexpand_more  80.54.6

Not on Viewexpand_more

Among Yoruba people an iron staff topped by birds signals the presence of an herbalist or diviner. Such staffs might be placed outside the diviner's home, or activated for use in ceremonies. The birds connect the staff to Osanyin, the god of herbalism, and also to dangerous spirits whose power the diviner must control and direct on behalf of his clients.

Diviner's Staff
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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staff with bird finial; iron