2 Yoruba Iron Dance Rattle Currency Nigeria
Two Yoruba iron dance rattles.
As a symbolic object it is thought that Iku bracelet-rattles serve a similar purpose, as do the cast brass Ogboni figures among the Yoruba, in that the bracelet/rattle would indicate one's rank within the Secret Ogboni Society and reflect through the complex iconography active within Ogboni, the relationship with Ogun, the Yoruba deity of iron.
Among the Yoruba who live in the Ijebu region of the southern Yoruba, a cult known as Oshugbo was open to all adult males and females. In the Oyo region the cult was known as Ogboni and spreading to other areas of the Yoruba the cult gained great power and authority serving political and judicial roles. Membership in Oshugbo/Ogboni and the level of authority that one held within the secret society was indicated by ownership of bronze figures or ritual bracelets owned by each member as they sat as a council of elders to settle disputes or deal with political affairs of the town. Cast iron, brass or bronze rattle/bracelets such as these have been identified to Ogboni activities and their use can be dated in early Yoruba history, however their actual use and symbolic meaning is still not fully understood within this secretive cult.