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

Candomblé Bell (Adija’)

Catalog Number: C137


5.41” x 5.46” x 10.94”

137.41 mm x 138.55 mm x 277.96 mm

35.56 cm tall, 4.45 cm diameter base


14" tall, 1.75" diameter base


Materials: Brass
Usage: N/A
Detailed Description of Significance:

Bells like these are often painted, and not plain like the one depicted here. The sound of the bell expresses the orisa’s voice in ritual performances, and provides some musical accompaniment to the dancing that is frequently a part of these proceedings. The seed in the middle has great significance to this artifact, as it is important in a variety of rituals; the seed cannot be removed. It symbolically represents the tying together of the bell, an indication of its spiritual purpose, beyond its mere mundane musical qualities. The pointed tip might represent Obàtálá’s crown. It is said that Obàtálá had a crippled slave who was very poor, and for some time Obàtálá carried this man about. Eventually, due to Obàtálá’s exceeding age, he was unable to carry the man; however, at a later date, Obàtálá needed for sacrifice to obtain a piece of the man. To express his gratitude for Obàtálá’s aid, the man gave Obàtálá a crown, which is why orisa all now wear crowns, following Obàtálá’s lead.