Figure of Shango on Horseback
Yorùbá, Toibo of Erin
Arts of Africa
This figure has been attributed to the workshop of the renowned Yoruba carver Toibo, of the town of Erin. It was probably carved in the 1920s or 1930s for the timi (king) of Ede (one of the historic Yoruba kingdoms), who kept it in a shrine dedicated to the orisha (god) Shango. Equestrian figures are potent symbols of power in many parts of Africa where ownership of horses was long restricted to warriors and political leaders. In Yoruba mythology, Shango was both a king and the orisha associated with thunder and lightning.
early 20th century
40 x 14 1/2 x 9 in. (101.6 x 36.8 x 22.9 cm) (show scale)
Gift of Corice and Armand P. Arman
Figure on horseback, disproportionately larger than horse. Figure's head surrmounted by conical coiffure covered with blue pigment; lashes bulge out in relief; arrow- like nose; teeth exposed in open mouth. Series of incised "L" shaped lines at sides of face covering cheeks. Long neck, rounded shoulders, arms at sides bent at elbows. Garment on torso described by series of incised lines: 2 knives oriented horizontally at sides one on either hip. Horse: ears pointed upward at top of head; long face pointed at muzzle; round eyes in relief; striated tail at rear narrows at tip. CONDITION: Figure's arms broken off at level of forearm. Chips off beard P.R. side of face and at front. Piece missing from P.L. side of horses face appears sanded down. Series of parallel splits in wood running across horses neck and back. Light split through P.R. foot. Splits across surface of base. P.L. side, toward back of base: underside has been eaten away by extensive insect damage creating imbalance in figures support. Rectangular white sticker at back of neck (91A144/17).
This item is not on view
Yorùbá. Figure of Shango on Horseback, early 20th century. Wood, pigment, 40 x 14 1/2 x 9 in. (101.6 x 36.8 x 22.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Corice and Armand P. Arman, 1992.133.4. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1992.133.4_threequarter_PS1.jpg)
threequarter, 1992.133.4_threequarter_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2007
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license
. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.
Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact email@example.com
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.