The messenger of the gods, Esu, is the subject matter of this fine dance staff figure. Among Yoruba peoples, Esu was the mediator between the spiritual world and the real world. He is believed to bring riches and good fortune to those who follow a sacrificial way of life. If treated properly, he delivers human requests to the gods, but, if mistreated, he can create a chaotic and scrambled message which wreaks havoc. This is a superb and old example showing much use and loving care. He is adorned with cut cowrie shell beads, glass beads, and indigo dye. 15.75"H x 9" (front to back), with fine, shiny, darkened, aged patina; encrustation on the beads. From the Osogbo region of Yorubaland, Nigeria. Early 20th century. Provenance: Samir Borro, Brussels, 1980's. A classic example.