Power Basket

Unidentified Yoruba, African-American Diaspora maker

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20th century

Iron, basketry, horn, bone, fur, shell, hide, wood, and string

Overall: 25 13/16 × 20 7/8 × 19 1/2 in. (65.5 × 53 × 49.5 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Purchased through the William B. and Evelyn F. Jaffe (58, 60, & 63) Fund

995.54.30220

Geography

Place Made: Nigeria, Western Africa, Africa

Period

20th century

Object Name

Basket

Research Area

Africa

Not on view

Label

Weaving baskets is a meditative practice with sacred intentions. There are nine bird staffs in the basket, which together form a shrine to the Yoruba orisha (deity) named Osanyin. Yoruba practitioners honor Osanyin, the orisha of herbal medicine, to obtain physical and spiritual health. His powers are often evoked by the presence of wrought iron staffs. The cowrie shells and wooden spoon within the basket are references to Eshu, the orisha known as a trickster. This basket was made in the Americas, and was likely created and used by a practitioner of the Yorubaderived religion, Afro-Cuban Santería.

From the 2023 exhibition Homecoming: Domesticity and Kinship in Global African Art, curated by Alexandra Thomas, Curatorial Research Associate


Course History

ANTH 17, The Anthropology of Health and Illness, Sienna Craig, Spring 2012

HIST 16, AAAS 12, Black America to the Civil War, Rashauna Chenault, Winter 2013

REL 53, Religion, Healing and Medicine, Elizabeth Perez, Winter 2012

ANTH 17, The Anthropology of Health and Illness, Sienna Craig, Spring 2012

ANTH 17, The Anthropology of Health and Illness, Sienna Craig, Spring 2012

REL 17, AAAS 83.5, African Religions of the Americas, Elizabeth Perez, Fall 2013

REL 14, AAAS 18, Introduction to African Religions, Robert Baum, Spring 2014

HIST 63.02, Material Culture of Science, Whitney Barlow Robles, Spring 2021

ANTH 74, The Human Spectrum, Nate Dominy, Spring 2022

HIST 63.02, Material Culture of Science, Whitney Robles, Spring 2022

HIST 5.08/AAAS 19, Africa and the World, Naaborko Sackeyfio-Lenoch, Summer 2022

HIST 5.08/AAAS 19, Africa and the World, Naaborko Sackeyfio-Lenoch, Summer 2022

HIST 5.08/AAAS 19, Africa and the World, Naaborko Sackeyfio-Lenoch, Summer 2022

History 63.02, Reading Artifacts: The Material Culture of Science, Whitney Barlow Robles, Spring 2023

First Year Student Enrichment Program – Cultures, Identities and Belongings, Colleen Lannon, Summer 2023

First Year Student Enrichment Program - Cultures, Identities and Belongings, Mokhtar Bouba, Summer 2023

Philosophy 1.11, Art: True, Beautiful, Nasty, John Kulvicki, Summer 2023

Writing 2.05, Why Write, Anyway?, Erkki Mackey, Fall 2023

Writing 5.24, Photographic Representations, Amanda Wetsel, Fall 2023

Writing 5.25, Photographic Representations, Amanda Wetsel, Fall 2023

Anthropology 31.01, Women's Gender, and Sexuality Studies 36.01, Gender in Cross Cultural Perspectives, Sabrina Billings, Fall 2023

Anthropology 55.01, Anthropology of Global Health, Anne Sosin, Fall 2023

Art History 89.06, Senior Seminar: Theory and Method, Adedoyin Teriba, Fall 2023

Creative Writing 10.02, Writing and Reading Fiction, Katherine Crouch, Fall 2023

Geography 31.01, Postcolonial Geographies, Erin Collins, Fall 2023

Humanities 2.01, The Modern Labyrinth, Dennis Washburn, Paul Carranza, Ainsley Morse, Laura Edmondson, Winter 2024

Writing 5.06, Image and Text, Becky Clark, Winter 2024

Writing 5.07, Image and Text, Becky Clark, Winter 2024

College Course 21.01, What's In Your Shoebox?, Francine A'Ness and Mokhtar Bouba, Spring 2024

College Course 21.01, What's In Your Shoebox?, Francine A'Ness and Mokhtar Bouba, Spring 2024

Exhibition History

Alvin P. Gutman Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, April 19, 2002-February 16, 2003.

Anthropology of Religion, Harrington Gallery Teaching Exhibition, Anthropology 48, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, March 30-May 2, 2004.

Critical Faculties: Teaching with the Hood's Collections, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, January 15-March 13, 2005.

Exhibited with Divine Inspiration: From Benin to Bahia, Photographs by Phyllis Galembo, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, February 17-April 21, 1996.

Homecoming: Domesticity and Kinship in Global African Art, Harteveldt Family Gallery, Owen Robertson Cheatham Gallery, and Northeast Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth, Hanover, New Hampshire, July 22, 2023–May 25, 2024.

Resonances of Power, Alvin P. Gutman Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, September 12, 1998-February 28, 1999.

Works from the Continent of Africa, Ivan Albright Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, January 26, 2019-March 15, 2020.

Provenance

Gallery DeRoche, San Francisco, California (lot 31); sold to present collection, 1995.

This record is part of an active database that includes information from historic documentation that may not have been recently reviewed. Information may be inaccurate or incomplete. We also acknowledge some language and imagery may be offensive, violent, or discriminatory. These records reflect the institution’s history or the views of artists or scholars, past and present. Our collections research is ongoing.

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