Yoruba Door Panels

Two beautifully carved Yoruba door panels depicting Yoruba ancestry and beliefs.
Tribe: Yoruba

Origin: Nigeria

Approx Age: 1st 3rd 20th Century

Materials: Wood, iron tacks and latch

Dimensions cm: 124 tall x 47 wide and 126 tall to top of peg x 34 wide

Ref. Number: 1398


Two beautifully carved Yoruba door panels depicting Yoruba ancestry and beliefs. Complete with protruding metal spikes (primitive nails) and repairs to the post that would hold the door in place in a frame and its original door latch hanging to the rear. The door on the left shows Yoruba people and animals where the second door depicts ‘Olokun”, Olokun is actually an Orisa or Orisha, which is a spirit or deity.

Provenance: Collected by Michael and Renate Lancaster between 1958-59 from Ibadan in Nigeria.

Additional images

Olokun – The Yoruban Goddess of the Deep Dark Sea

The Realm of Olokun is the land of the dead. All animal remains eventually drop down to the bottom of the ocean as so-called “marine snow”. The bottom of the abyssal zone is covered in white flakes that provide sustenance to thousands of sea creatures. To this day Olokun’s world remains her dark queendom of the untold, as only one-millionth of her realm has ever been seen by human eyes.

Olokun is also believed to be the keeper of secrets. Anything that falls to the bottom of the sea floor remains intact forevermore, never to be laid eyes on by anyone other than herself and her underwater children. Olokun is believed to hold the secrets of the past, the present and the future. She knows all and guards that knowledge well. New World Yorubas believe that Olokun holds the key to the mystery of exactly what happened to their ancestors on those fateful journeys across the Atlantic. Many didn’t make it and thus entered the realm of Olokun. For that reason still today their descendants in the Americas give baskets of food to the sea.


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