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19th and 20th Century African Art: Veranda post of enthroned king and senior wife (Opo Ogoga)

Identification

Veranda post of enthroned king and senior wife (Opo Ogoga). Olowe of Ise (Yoruba peoples). c. 1910-1914 C.E. Wood and pigment. 

Context

  • Women are important in Yoruba society
  • The king's senior wife stands behind him
    • she is crowning him in a ceremony showing that men cannot rule without the support of women
  • This is one of three veranda posts carved by Olowe of Ise, a famed artist of the Yoruba peoples

Content

  • hierarchical order by size
    • the woman is the king's senior wife; her size is what is actually holding up the veranda
    • the king is no less important, as he is seated in front of his wife
  • the king's crown
    • beaded- connection to past rulers and powers in the spiritual realm
    • bird- beak pointed to king symbolizes supernatural watchfulness that allows him to protect his people 
      • bird also symbolizes older women, female ancestors, and female deities that support the king; collectively known to the peoples as "our mothers"

Image

Additional Resources

Image Map

Works Cited/ Resources

"The Art Institute of Chicago." Veranda Post of Enthroned King and Senior Wife (Opo Ogoga) | The Art Institute of Chicago. Art Institute of Chicago, 2013. Web. 11 Oct. 2017. <http://www.artic.edu/aic/collections/exhibitions/African/Veranda>.

"Veranda Post of Enthroned King and Senior Wife (Opo Ogoga), 1910/14." The Art Institute of Chicago. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Oct. 2017. <http://www.artic.edu/aic/collections/artwork/102611>.

Form

  • very tall
  • woman is the main structural part of the post
  • wood and pigment
  • woman is larger than the man

Function

  • served as a veranda post; held no actual weight
  • created by Olowe of Ise
  • King and his senior wife work in harmony 
    • wife supports the king

Vocabulary

Olowe of Ise- artist who carved this

veranda post- structural element that held up the royal porch