TERA Gallery - African Art and Antiquities

"Altering The Way You View The World Of Art"
Type of Object:     
    Chamba Currecny
    19th - 20th c.

    Made of hand forged iron which has been worked in eight 9" long
    cylindrical shapes and a 7 1/2" bell attached to a round iron ring,
    this late currency from the Chamba People, settled in Nigeria along
    the southern bank of the Benue River, is a  precise work of art that
    reflects the superb art of the blacksmith among the Yoruba and the
    ritual importance of iron in Yoruba society.

    This forged iron dance rattle emphasizes the relationship between
    art and dance (performance) in Africa and especially the Yoruba of
    Nigeria. Ceremonies are marked by music and dance and Yoruba
    rituals by the ringing of bells and gongs to call the spirits or
    ancestors to witness the events.

    For the Yoruba iron is the product of the God Ogun and represents
    power, heat, passion and maleness for it is drawn from fire and the
    skill of the blacksmith to give raw material form.

    The circle of bells would be held in the hand and shaken to
    emphasize or mark important moments in a ritual and to
    accompany the rhythmic drumbeat of the dance.

Ethnic Group:    
    Chamba Society         
    Yoruba Society
    Igbo Society

Country of Origin:     
    Nigeria     

Material:                       
    Iron

Deminsions:
    24" total lenght, 5' x 5"hopp diamter, 10" longest bell, 4.5 widest
    bell, total weight 4 lbs.

Reference:                
    Black Gods and Kings - Yoruba Art at UCLA