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The double-axe is symbol for Orisha Shango. His priests carry these dance wands at festivals and on ritual occasions, used for dancing and decoration. Traditional Oshe Shango are carved in the form of a human figure with the thunderax balanced upon his or her head. It is a symbol for two “edun ara”, tunderbolts, as well as for burning fire and shows Shango as the owner of the “ori”, the head and personal destiny.

It is a dangerous force, carrying it on the head is a dramatic metaphor for bearing the burden of Shango’s power. This figures also has a “shere” in his hands, a small prayer rattle used in Shango worship, and the hair is done in cornrows, another symbol for all Shango-devotees. Over his shoulder he carries a “laba”, a bag used when going to a ritual and wears red and white “ileke” around his neck. 

 

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