Arugba Sango (Sango Shrine Bowl)

By: Jonathan Cosgrove Tagged:


These vessels, arugba Sango, are found mostly in by the Igbomina and Ekiti tribes of North Eastern Yorubaland. Arugba (meaning 'bowl carrier') Sango vessels are associated with the worship of the god of thunder and lightning, Sango, and used to store ancient stone celts that are believed to be thunder-stones (edun ara) thrown from the sly by Sango. When villagers found edun ara, they’d take it to the diviner (babalawo) to keep at the Sango shrine "for it is through thunderstones that sacrifices are offered to Sango".1

Distinguishing Features

    • Interior is not divided into compartments
    • Depicts a seated or kneeling woman
    • Female figure carved holding or balancing a large bowl above her head
    • Figures sometimes painted a dark indigo blue , red and white (red and white being the colours associated with Sango)
    • The base of the carving can sometimes feature smaller figures such as other Sango devotees carrying ose Sango staffs or chickens for sacrifice to the god Sango
    • "Elaborately carved Sango bowl are far less common than undecorated and lidless wooden bowls"1

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