One of the main Yoruba-symbols for Oshun is a highly adorned brass fan called "abebe". In the Latin-American diaspora Oshun-worshippers make use of Spanish foldable paper-fans or sometimes use hand-mirrors, which resemble the brass-fan in shape and talk of Oshun’s beauty. With the abebe, which some people say comes form the Yoruba-verb "be", what means "to beg", Oshun is bringing coolness through the air and is refreshening her children.
This T-shirt shows a traditional antique Abebe Oshun, full of symbols from the river. You can also see that the fan is centered around a kind of blade, it looks like a small sword centered in a circle and might be interpreted as Oshun’s warrior aspect. The tip of the blade is between the legs of a pregnant woman, this way the blade could also be interpreted as a stream coming out of her body, or the water being visualized in form of a blade. This abebe is a true work of Yoruba art, it plays a lot with double meanings, a dual view on the world, and is unifying contrary aspects. There remain many things to discover!
The profit made by selling this Oshun T-shirt, which is ten dollars or euros for one piece, will be donated to the Susanne Wenger Foundation. It will be used to maintain the Sacred Oshun Grove in Osogbo, Nigeria, and the heritage of the artist Adunni Olorisa.
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