West Africa, Nigeria, Yoruba people, ca. early to mid 20th century CE. A playful and charming cast bronze water buffalo with four birds seated upon his broad horns. The buffalo has a stylized face with long, almond-shaped eyes and an open mouth with an extended tongue. The figure stands on four rounded hooves below skinny, straight legs. The water buffalo is a symbol of Oya, a god-like creature in Yoruban cosmology who is responsible for winds, lightning, storms, death, and rebirth. Birds also have a special place in Yoruban culture, representing the triumph of good over evil. Size: 7.45" W x 6.15" H (18.9 cm x 15.6 cm)
Provenance: private Pacific Palisades, California, USA collection
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