Itan of Oxum & Oxóssi
Site-specific textile sculptures
Material: Kitenge textiles 100% cotton and wire. Oxum, deity represented by the brown and yellow textile and fringe with gold bugle beads. Oxóssi, deity represented by the green textile, with silver plated amulet balangandã and plastic lágídígba discs.
Part of the exhibition Place After Pattern After Place at glór.
Photos: Eamon Ward/ Andrea Berteli
Itan means story in Yoruba. This installation was made to tell the story of the two Yoruba deities, Oxum and Oxóssi.
The story tells that when Oxum and Oxóssi met, he soon fell in love and wanted to marry her. Oxum agreed but imposed the condition that he go with her to her father's mansion disguised as a woman, so as not to be barred from entering. Oxóssi accepted, without asking if this would bring him any problems. Then Oxum transformed him into a woman and they went together to the palace.
There, Oxóssi was very well received, for he was presented as a friend of Oxum; and so the two were able to live together for a long time. Months later, Oxum could no longer hide her pregnancy; Oxalá discovered the truth and expelled Oxóssi from the palace. Because he turned into a woman, Oxóssi became bisexual; and their son Logun Edé.