The Ax has great religious significance in the Shango aspect of Ifa religion. It symbolizes the thunderbolts that Shango hurls to Earth to strike down wrongdoers. In statues and illustrations, it is often seen on Shango's head and is equated with his power, caprice, and the creative experience of human sexuality. The ax represents a warning against the arrogant use of military power to political leadership and represents a symbol of swift and balanced justice. As a double-edged emblem, it symbolizes Shango's constant preparedness for adversaries and is often carried on top of the dance staffs called the Osbe Shango during celebrations and rituals.

The Osbe Shango depicts a female devotee kneeling in respect to Shango. The balancing of a double ax refers to an act ...

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