X87.605 Anklet

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Ijebu-Yoruba peoples
early 19th century
H: 20 cm, L: 13.5 cm, D: 4 cm (H: 7.8 in, L: 5.3 in, D: 1.5 in)
Fowler Museum at UCLA. The Jerome L. Joss Collection. X87.605


This bronze anklet (ide ese) was probably cast by an Ijebu-Yoruba artist in the early nineteenth century; a very similar work was excated at Imodi-Ijebu, the burial site of First Otunba Suna. Such anklets were worn by important chiefs and elders among the Ijebu. The four faces that adorn this anklet have opposed crescent marks on their foreheads, often a sign associated with Osugbo, the Ijebu society of female and male elders who served as the rule-makers (and breakers) as well as the highest judiciary in the land. Crotals were probably originally attached all around the perimeter of the oval anklet, providing a distinctive sound that announced the approach of an impressive personage.

Source: Ross, Doran H. ed. (1994): “Visions of Africa”, Los Angeles, UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History. page 76