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

Xaxará of Omolú

Catalog Number: C003


Dimas Santos


54.5 cm L, 3 cm W


Religion and Denomination: Candomblé (Brazil)
Country of Origin: Brazil
Ethnographic Origin: Bahian (Brazil)
Materials: Beads
Usage: N/A
Detailed Description of Significance:

Omolú is the orixá of pestilence and the son of Nanã, goddess of death and the mud. His xaxará represents the earth and tree spirits and has close ties to healing, much like his mother’s ibirí staff. The xaxará  is very much like a stylized broom, used to sweep away illness.His colors, black combined with white or red, are all represented here in the beads and cloth covering the palm frond ribs.

One story tells of how Omolú, upset that he was being laughed at while at a dance with all the other orixás, began hitting his counterparts with his xaxará, causing them to contract smallpox.  Like other orixás, omolú represents the power of the elements under his control to heal and to harm, much like any force of nature or technology.