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Ogboni Society Bell (Ipawo Ase)

Date: mid 19th century
Medium: copper alloy, cotton and dye
Overall: 15 x 2 1/2 x 2 1/4 in. (38.1 x 6.4 x 5.7 cm)
Classification: Musical Instruments
Credit Line: Museum purchase
Object number: 90.0111
DescriptionThe Ogboni society derives from the Yoruba kingdom of Ijebu. Ogboni is believed to predate existing Yoruba dynasties and even had close ties with Benin as can be seen from shared iconography. The Ogboni staff or bell (ipawo ase) is used by chiefs, priests, Ogboni elders, and kings – all believed to possess and use ashe (authority / life force) for the benefit of their followers.
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