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This masterfully carved door once opened into a shrine dedicated to Shangó, Yoruba king and god of thunder, lightening and seasonal rains. This volatile deity is capable of taking life with a bolt of lightening as well as bestowing abundance upon a community. Both Shangó shrines and the palaces of Yoruba kings include elaborately carved doors such as this. Shangó's mother, the water deity Yemaya, appears twice in its central register with her fish's tail. Four stone celts (a prehistoric ax-like tool), created when Shangó's thunderbolts strike earth, appear at the center of this register, attesting to Shangó's power.

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  • Title: Shrine Door
  • Date Created: 19th century
  • Physical Dimensions: w490.73 x h1319.78 x d42.67 in
  • Culture: Yoruba peoples
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Rights: Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust through the Esther Clark Garnett Fund and the George H. and Elizabeth O. Davis Fund, Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust through the Esther Clark Garnett Fund and the George H. and Elizabeth O. Davis Fund
  • Medium: Wood and metal

Additional Items

Shrine Door (Supplemental)

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