Posted 6 months ago
I'm hoping that CanyonRd migh be able to shed a little more light on this piece i found today at a flea market. This is a rare and old Orixa [Deity] named 'Nanam'. Orixas are spiritual archetypes from the Yoruba culture. This one is from Brazil where the Yoruba cults descended from the original slaves brought to that country from Nigeria hundreds of years ago. I couldn't find much about Nanam, but copied what i did find below. Her hair is particularly odd - w/ her curly bangs covering her eyes completely. She is holding a lariat or something like that in her hands and she has bangles on her wrists, and a double necklace, a very full skirt tied with a bow at the waist and three hems which go all the way to her bare feet.
on the bottom is written 'Louco Filho Joao B' which is how João Batista Neves da Gama Silva signs his name as one of the Santeiros of Bahia. I'm not quite sure why mine looks so old - it has real patina and age, but can't be THAT old unless it was done by his father or grandfather. The world of the Brazilian cults and the Orixas is very complex and old and super interesting!
'Nanan owns a staff. Nanan sprinkled with red, her clothes appear bathed in blood, orisa that forces the fon to speak Nagô (ketu). Standing water that kills suddenly, she kills a goat without using a knife.
It is considered "the oldest orisa in the world". When orunmila came here to bear the earth, she was already. Nanan does not know the iron because it is an orixá of the prehistory, previous to the age of the iron. The term nanan means root, that which is in the center of the earth.
They are conservative and bound by conventional standards set by men. Calm, sometimes they change behavior quickly, becoming warriors and aggressors; When then, they can be dangerous, which scares people. They take their point of view to the ultimate consequences. As a mother, they are attached to their children and very protective. They are jealous and possessive. They demand attention and respect, are not very cheerful and do not like a lot of jokes. They are majestic and secure in actions and always seek the path of wisdom and justice.
Nanan was Ogun's wife and held the position of Judge in Dahomey. She only judged men, being highly respected by women who were considered goddesses.
She lived in a beautiful house with a garden. When someone made a complaint about her husband, she would tie the person on a tree and ask the eguns to frighten her.
One night, Oya complained about Ogun and he was tied up in the garden. At night he managed to slip away and went to ifa. The situation could not continue and so it was agreed that Osalá would take away the powers of Nanan. He approached her and offered her igbin juice, a kind of snail. While drinking the preparation, Nanam fell asleep. Osala then dressed as a woman and, imitating Nanan's way, asked the Eguns to leave his garden forever.
When Nanan woke up and realized what Osala had done, he forced him to take the same igbin dress and seduced the orixd. He hoped and ran off and told what had happened. Outraged, this cut off relations with Nanan. And that is why in the offerings to Nanan no metal object is used.
Another legend records that in a meeting the orises acclaimed Ogun as the most important of them and that Nanan, not content to be defeated by him, assumed that he would no longer use the metal utensils created by the warrior orisa (shields and war spears , Knives and arrows for hunting and fishing). Therefore, she does not accept offerings in which they present metal objects. '