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Re: [African_Arts] Eshu/Esu Iconography

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  • beepeawee1@aol.com
    Thank you, Lee! I am familiar with the pataki described in the excerpt from The Dance of Elegba. There are many versions that vary in detail but not in the
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 25, 2009
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      Thank you, Lee!
       I am familiar with the pataki described in the excerpt from "The Dance of Elegba." There are many versions that vary in detail but not in the essence or the message. That is perhaps the most detailed and entertaining I have read or heard. I have a wonderful red and black Gelede helmet with His face sporting the bi-colored fila from the story. I will have to post a picture soon. Right now, it and several other pieces have gone to the school I work at to form an exhibition during what is called here "African Heritage Month" beginning February - a mirror of "Black History Month" south of the border. :-)
       
      I'm also familiar with mudfish imagery from the culture as well as from Bini/Edo artifacts. I buy the dried and smoked whole mudfish , myself, during times of appeasement to Ifa. There is no fish more important in day-to-day ritual. The fish in the case of the wand that puzzles does not appear to be a mudfish, however:
       
       
      That might be a artist's licence, however - who knows?  That said, I think you are good to point out Eshu's nature is such that I may not know, ever. Perhaps the wand was simply knocked off for profit of the carver. It does not appear to have ever been danced or used before it came to me. Perhaps it was made for one specific purpose. I do know the answer is not easily obtainable from my Awo, either. :-) At least I have a focal point for investigation and an object worthy of discussion.
       
      I find Ibeji irresistible and your suggestion to use them as a resource in studying hairstyles is one I will pursue.  One interesting thing about the maternity shrine piece you have commented on is the rendering of the child whose blade-like appearance (to me) recalls the blade-like stelae or efun grinders found in diviners' tools, the proper name of which I am afraid I do not know. These are the flat grinders usually adorned with schematic flat-relief phalli on the sides.
       
      I have a lot of research to do. :-)
       
      I really appreciate the references to the publications and will do my best to catch up on my research using them.
      Odabo.
      Beth
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