Calabash rattle, Nigeria, 1851-1920

Made:
1851-1920 in Nigeria
maker:
Yoruba people

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Club shaped calabash rattle covered with cloth and stitched all over with various objects, used by priest of Shango cult, Yoruba, Nigeria, West African, 1851-1920

This club-shaped rattle was used by a priest of the Shango cult from the Yoruba people of Nigeria, West Africa. Shango is the Yoruba god of thunder and is worshipped as a healing god. The priest would go into a trance-like state and, using the rattle to communicate with Shango, receive recipes for medical treatments. Treatment of the sick and diseased involved the whole community rather than just the individual. The rattle is made from a gourd called a calabash, and has cloth, shells, wood and metal stitched on to the surface.

Related people

Details

Category:
Ethnography and Folk Medicine
Object Number:
A8957
Materials:
bone, gourd, metal (unknown), shell, textile, wood (unidentified)
Measurements:
overall (lying flat): 118 mm x 356 mm x 122 mm, 115 mm, 0.268 kg
type:
rattle
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • sound device
  • idiophone
  • struck idiophone
credit:
On loan from the Wellcome Trust
status:
Loan: Wellcome Trust

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