Box card

Box

3.11.08.99

Currently not on display

Information

This carved wooden box in the form of a mudfish, or electric catfish (Malpterurus electricus), would have been an appropriate form for holding offerings. Mudfish are known to be very tasty and fresh mudfish were commonly offered as sacrifices at shrines. In the Edo pantheon Olokun is the god of the sea who brings fertility and wealth. The mudfish is one of Olokun’s messengers and this box may have been made to hold offerings at a shrine dedicated to Olokun. This box was acquired under unknown circumstances by a Mr Harrison, who was probably a Liverpool merchant who traded in western Africa.