Showcasing the art and ritual of the African and African-diaspora religions

Brooch for the Yoruba God Ẹlẹgba

Catalog Number: M020


Height:6.7cm / 2.6 inches
Width:3.6cm / 1.4 inches

Religion and Denomination: Ocha (Cuba, Yoruba)
Transatlantic Family of Religion: Orisha
Country of Origin: United States
Ethnographic Origin: African-American
Materials: Metal
Usage: Tourist/Souvenir
Detailed Description of Significance:

Worn decoratively on a shirt or jacket to honor the trickster god and lord of communication between humans and gods–Èṣù. This style of brooch seems to have been designed initially by Ogundipe Fayomi, an African-American artist in Brooklyn, and marketed by the Yoruba Archministry of John Mason. Their African-American style of orisha worship was heavily inspired by Cuban Santería/Ocha and then affected by African Americans’ rejection of the Roman Catholic elements of that Cuban religion. Such African Americans added to the religion imagery drawn from the copious body of Western art historical work on West African Yoruba religion. This particular piece also seems to be inspired by similar brooches marketed in the southwestern US in honor of the Native American trickster god Kokopelli of the Anasazi, Hopi and Zuñi tribes, for example.