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

Metal Ensemble for a Priest of Oxaguiã (Obàtálá)

Catalog Number: C156


helmet: 9.50" x 15.50" x 9.75" 
241.30 mm x 393.70 mm x 247.64 mm

breastplate: 12.75" x 13.50" x 11.50" 
323.85 mm x 342.90 mm x 292.10 mm

armbands: 4.75" x 4.75" x 3.75" 
120.65 mm x 120.65 mm x 95.25 mm

bracelets: 4.50" x 3.50" x 4.50" 
114.30 mm x 88.90 mm x 114.30 mm

pouches (without chains): 6.63" x 6.75" x 0.75" 
168.40 mm x 171.45 mm x 19.05 mm

pendant (without chain): 5.00" x 6.00" x 1.25" 
127.00 mm x 152.40 mm x 31.75 mm

sword: 17.25" x 4.25" x 3.00" 
438.15 mm x 107.95 mm x 76.20 mm

shield: 11.25" x 9.25" x 2.38" 
285.75 mm x 234.95 mm x 60.45 mm

pestle: 16.25" x 2.38" x 2.31" 
412.75 mm x 60.45 mm x 58.67 mm

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

Images used in the metalwork signify aspects of the god Oxaguiã, also known as Oxala. According to Amilton Sacramento Costa, the elephants indicate that “ivory belongs to Oxala,” as one of her attributes. The doves represent peace, because “Oxala is the owner of peace.” However, the set includes a sword and shield because Oxaguiã is a warrior avatar of Oxala. The pestle is used to pound yams.

The heart-shaped pouches (capangas) are stylized versions of pouches worn by hunters. The pendant (pulvarim) features a bow, arrow, and two cylinders that may represent gunpowder holders or quivers.

Costa says that the bracelets and armlets are a Brazilian invention and are for decorative purposes only.