Agba Ogboni

George Bandele Nigerian

Not on view

George Bandele was a Christian, known for his elaborately carved doors on Catholic Churches; however, he also accepted commissions from the powerful Yoruba Ogboni men’s society. This Ogboni drum, one of Bandele’s more ornate pieces, is the largest drum in a set of three. In Yoruba society, drums are the dominant instrumental type, often made in different sizes and identified as members of a family. The leader of the ensemble usually plays the principal instrument which is identified as the Mother. Although the carvings’ meanings are elusive, this drum features emblems referencing Shango (God of fire, thunder, and lighting) as well as the mudfish, which is a symbol of Olokun, an Orisha (spirit) associated with the sea. In Nigeria, many old Ogboni objects have been lost and are becoming increasingly rare.

Agba Ogboni, George Bandele (Nigerian, born 1910), Wood (aberinberin?), hide, Yoruba

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.