Field Work in Ife, Western Region (Nigeria): Granite Monolith known as the Opa Oranmiyan, or staff of Oranmiyan
Turner, Lorenzo Dow 1890-1972
Turner, Lorenzo Dow
1 photographic negative : b&w; 35mm
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Yoruba (African people)
Title is provided by ACMA Archives staff based on researcher's notes.
This photograph was taken by Lorenzo Dow Turner while conducting field research in Nigeria, on a Fulbright Research Award from March 1951 through December 1951.
The Lorenzo Dow Turner papers were donated to the Anacostia Community Museum in 2003 by Professor Turner's widow, Lois Turner Williams. Additional materials were donated in the spring of 2010 by Mrs. Turner Williams.
Lorenzo Dow Turner papers are arranged into seven main categories; Lorenzo Dow Turner papers, Series 5: Photographs, ca. 1890-1974 is organized into five subdivisions which include one or several items of original materials; Sub-series 5.4: Research is ultimately divided by the country where field research was conducted. This negative is included in Sub-series 5.4.1: Research: Africa
Additional information from staff reads, "The Opa Oranmiyan, or staff of Oranmiyan, is a granite monolith standing over eighteen feet tall that commemorates a legendary warrior, ruler, and progenitor. Said to have been the son of Odudua, the first divine king of Ife, Oranmiyan is credited as the founder of the Benin dynasties and the Yoruba Oyo kingdom. The age of the monolith is uncertain, but it is estimated to have been erected sometime during the first millennium A.D." [Source: Ife (from ca. 350 B.C.) | Thematic Essay | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art ]
Additional information from Alcione M. Amos reads, "In 1951, Lorenzo Dow Turner was able to achieve his dream of visiting Africa after he received a Fulbright award. His visit to West Africa was a major adventure of interacting with the local people, presenting lectures, and again recording songs, folktales, and proverbs. Turner was initially located at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, where he lectured to appreciative audiences on topics such as Africans in the New World and the English language in America. Soon after his arrival he was extending his reach and traveling all over the country. During these excursions he often played the recordings he had made in Brazil with Yoruba speakers. His audiences in Africa were fascinated. He was further connecting the worlds of the African Diaspora through language." [Lorenzo Dow Turner: Connecting Communities through Language. Alcione M. Amos. The Black Scholar: Volume 41, No.1, Journal of Black Studies and Research (Spring 2011), pp. 4-15. Published by: the Black World Foundation and Paradigm Publishers, Boulder, Colorado]
Lorenzo Dow Turner papers, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution, gift of Lois Turner Williams
Anacostia Community Museum Archives, MRC-777 1901 Fort Place, SE, Washington, DC 20020 (tel. 202.633.4853, fax 202.287.2422) ACMarchives@si.edu Consult archivist by appointment