Opa Orisa Oko (Herbalist's Staff)

By: Adenike Cosgrove Tagged:


For a successful harvest and hunt the Yoruba enlist the help of Oko, the god of agriculture and harvest (literal meaning ‘god of the farm’), through the use of opa orisa oko staffs. Made from old iron hoe blades (usually in the cult centre of Irawo, Oyo) and placed in shrines and altars for Oko, it is believed that the iron staff holds the power of Oko.

Distinguishing Features

    • Made from iron and wood
    • Height = 50 - 60 inches
    • Wooden hilt
    • Hilt is studded, bound and finished with a pointed ‘triangular’ iron cap
    • Small square in the middle of the staff (representing the face of Oko)
        • The small square always has a central cross mark on both sides (referred to as ‘the crossroads’ representing the notion that the Orisa is all encompassing and omnipresent)
        • The small square usually depicts eyes (etched in the top 2 quadrants created by the cross) and scarification marks

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