Oba and Her Ear
Oil on Wood Panel, 48" x 36"
Oba, the most senior of Shango's wives, was tricked by a rival into believing that if Shango ate a piece of her, he would love Oba eternally. Desperate for his affection, Oba cut off her ear and attempted to feed it to Shango mixed into his porridge. He detected the trick and exiled her in disgust and rage. Grieving, Oba became the River Oba in present-day Nigeria. The painting's subject of a beautiful woman dressed in sumptuous fabric holding a plate with a grim offering echoes
Salome with the Head of Saint John the Baptist, a popular biblical story among Renaissance artists. Whereas Salome destroys another, Oba's grisly crime leads to her own ruin.