“Èṣù – Always the First”: A collection inspired by the art of master Ode Kunle from Ọ̀yọ́

by Fúnmiláyọ̀ ***

    Oduduwa Europe’s range of distinctive products evokes the work of the Yoruba master carver, Ode Kunle Oyo. As a member of a prominent family of traditional religious wood carvers in the town of Ọ̀yọ́ in Southwestern Nigeria, he left a rich artistic and spiritual legacy. Regarding his historical milieu, master Ode Kunle has inherited wood carving from his ancestors whose descendants perpetuate to practice wood carving as a generational occupation.

The artists’ creativity always becomes stronger where their spirituality is involved, especially, among the Yoruba. Rooted in the traditional belief systems, Yoruba art is for life’s sake meaning that the religion is integral to creativity which makes the objects of art not only aesthetical but functional as well. The traditional Yoruba art places sculpture at the heart of their belief and worship.

Wood statue Èṣù on a horse, Ode Kunle Oyo, Yoruba, Nigeria


Ode Kunle Oyo; Èṣù on a horse; 45,5 x 16,5 x 14,5 cm; Wood; Yoruba, Nigeria. 

The primaeval Òrìṣà Èṣù is one of more than several hundred divinities worshipped by the Yoruba people, being the one whom tradition holds in the highest esteem. The physiognomy of the Èṣù statue reveals the interrelationship and interdependence between matter and spirit.

“The traditional Yoruba sculpture is used
to entrench religious beliefs
and enhance the process of worship.”

Our range of products with a strong spiritual undertone is fashioned to resonate with Òrìṣà lovers empowering their sense of devotion. As there is always a spiritual element to anything we do, utter, or are, the Òrìṣà Èṣù is a source of our endless inspiration.


The owner of Oduduwa Europe, bàbálórìṣà Bàbá King
on the artwork that inspired the “Èṣù – Always the First” collection.

Fall in love with our new collection and the virtues of this primaeval Òrìṣà.

Láaróyè Èṣù!