04 Nov 2010
in Welcome to Arelagbayi
Tags: Adekunle Akangbe ogun, african sculptures, African woodcarving, baobab, edun ara, Ifa, igba, Kasali, Kasali Akangbe, Nigeria, orisa, orisa carvings, orisa sculptures, orisa worship, Osogbo, Osun State, Oya, Yoruba
Last week my father and I went into the forest looking for wood. Our first stop was our ancestor’s land where we made ebo. It is now the first week of November and we are busy working on our projects, being made of wood gathered on this day.
Hard at Work
My father is working on a totem which is 10 feet tall, made out of “Gedu” wood.
He is carving a figure of Ogun at the top, then Oya in the middle, and then Sango at bottom. This is a piece commissioned by a client in Brooklyn, New York. We have many clients from all over the world, easily shipping our pieces straight from Osogbo to the waiting hands of those who love art, beauty, and the magic of the Irunmole. Wood has a lustre and warmth, a presence, a spirit, and we, as Arelagbayi, can recognize and hear the spirit inside the wood which would like to be freed.
I’m working here on an “Igba” Sango made out of “Omo” wood. This is a wooden container that will store the items sacred to Sango such as “edun ara”, the thunder stones found around the base of baobab tress, and offerings such as orogbo. Down below is a photo of another Igba made for Oya.
While my father and I sit carving, he often talks to me about the past, before I was born, about carvings he made which have unusual stories attached to them.
It is very pleasant here at our workshop surrounded by greenery, and I feel the presence of our ancestors as we sit carving just as they did, hundreds of years ago. Check back in a few days to see how the work is progressing!