Iron staffs are commonly dedicated to the "orisha" of curative medicine, Osanyin, who is one of a multitude of Yoruba gods who work on behalf of the creator god. Yoruba herbalists, who protect the health of the community, display such staffs as symbols of their profession. The herbalists also reverence Ogun, the god of iron and hunters, because Ogun supplies the iron blades herbalists use to harvest plants to make their medicines and because herbalists must hunt for their cures. The iron birds signify the life-giving and nurturing powers of women that the herbalists have harnessed.
Click a term to view the records with the same keyword