Yoruba Ogboni Edan Figures

Wonderful and captivating pair of Yoruba Ogboni Edan figures showing all the characteristics that typify such fascinating items.

Yoruba Ogboni Edan figures

Tribe: Yoruba

Origin: Nigeria

Approx Age: Earlier 20th Century

Materials: Clay/Metal Alloy/Pewter

Dimensions cm: 21 tall

Ref. Number: 0953



A stunning and old pair of Yoruba Ogboni Edan figures that originate from Nigeria. This wonderful and captivating pair of Ogboni society figures show all the characteristics that typify such fascinating items. They are made from a clay composite and then completely encased with a pewter alloy. 

Provenance: Ex-private UK collection.


These figures belong to the Ogboni society and are given the name Edan and are cast in pairs, attached to a spike and joined by a chain through loops on the top of the heads that then join the pair together. They would be worn over the shoulders of Ogboni society members as a sign of office or as an amulet. The figures usually represented as portrait heads of society elders representing wisdom, authority and power. Only used by the high esteem authority elders. Edan is among the fascinating sculptured objects in Yoruba culture. They are presented to an initiate into the higher ranks of a secret society, Ogboni or Oshugbo. Ogboni is one of the most prominent Yoruba religious cult societies, which worships the owner of the earth, Onile. Its prime function is to harmonise all spirits and forces of nature. It is lead by the eldest and wisest man and woman from the community. The Edan were worn around initiates’ necks, as symbols of rank, at society meetings and ceremonies. The casting over an iron rod signifies the union of the magical forces associated with brass and iron. The Edan are used in five main functions: judicial, oracular, healing, protective, and communication/surveillance. For the judicial role, it is believed that an Edan placed upright by its spike on the ground will fall should a man not confess his guilt.

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