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Veranda Post

Unidentified Yoruba artist
20th century
Associated with
Western Africa and the Guinea Coast, Nigeria, Africa
Architectural elements, sculpture
Current Location
On View, Gallery 117
82 11/16 × 5 1/16 × 3 3/16 in. (210 × 12.8 × 8.1 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of Morton D. May
Public Domain
Object Number
The warrior-hunter, recognizable by his gun and long-tailed headdress, appears twice on this veranda post, standing atop a ram’s head above, and with his feline prey below. The sculpture communicated that its owner was a cosmopolitan individual who honored Ogun, the Yoruba god of warriors and chiefs, observed Islamic teachings, and maintained political ties with the British colonial administration. A Muslim teacher below is identifiable by the turban he wears and the Koranic writing board and prayer beads he holds. Above him, carved in relief, is a seated European colonial official, recognizable by his pith helmet, pipe, and book. Thus, leadership, in the forms of warriorhood, education, and politics, represents the values of the owner whose residence this post once adorned.
- 1971
Everett Rassiga, New York, NY, USA

1971 - 1972
Morton D. May (1914-1983), St. Louis, MO, purchased from Everett Rassiga [1]

1972 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, given by Morton D. May [2]

[1] An invoice dated October 10, 1971 from Everett Rassiga Inc. to Morton D. May documents the purchase of this object, listed as "CARVED HOUSEPOST, Yoruba / wood, figures and animals / weathered patina, 7' high" [May Archives, Saint Louis Art Museum].

[2] A letter dated December 15, 1972 from Morton D. May to Charles E. Buckley, director of the Saint Louis Art Museum, includes the offer of this object as part of a larger donation [SLAM document files]. Minutes of the Acquisitions Committee of the Board of Trustees, Saint Louis Art Museum, April 4, 1973.
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