Work of Art: Veranda Post with Priest of Shango and Bata Drummer
Lamidi Olonade Fakeye
Nigerian
1928-2009
Veranda Post with Priest of Shango and Bata Drummer
1984
Iroko wood
104 1/2 x 10 1/8 x 9 5/8 in. (265.4 x 25.7 x 24.4 cm)
Purchased with funds from the North Carolina State Art Society (Robert F. Phifer Bequest)

Fakeye came from a long line of Yoruba wood carvers. After a three-year apprenticeship with a master sculptor in Nigeria, he studied and taught in Europe and the United States. Beginning in 1978 he taught at Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife, Nigeria, for thirty years. As a student in France, he experimented with stone carving but eventually decided to focus on his personal interpretation of the techniques and styles of traditional Yoruba wood carving.

The artist carved these monumental veranda posts for a cultural center in the city of Ibadan, Nigeria, but the building project was canceled and the commission for a series of posts withdrawn. At that time Fakeye had completed three of the eight posts he envisioned. They portray (in order): a priestess of Oshun and priest of Ogun, a priest of Shango and bata drummer, and a divination priest (babalawo) and drummer.

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