Eshu is the god who serves as a mediator between humans and the gods or "orisha." Because he delivers the prayers, wishes and sacrifices of men and women to the gods, humans must stay on good terms with Eshu. Those who please him are repaid with good fortune, while those who do not are cursed. It is for this reason that Eshu is thought of as a trickster who represents the principle of uncertainty in life.

Images of Eshu appear on a variety of ritual objects including divination boards, wands, staffs and clubs. Devotees carry staffs (called opa) and amulets during ritual celebrations of the deity's power to pay homage to Eshu.

This amulet is decorated with long strands of cowrie shells, symbols of the wealth that the god may bring to the blessed. Eshu plays a prominent role in human trade, and his shrines are often located near market places.
On this staff Eshu is shown with a long headdress or hairstyle that extends down his back.

© Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University,
Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester and Dallas Museum of Art
For more information please contact
Last Update: