Important Iroquois Figured Maple Effigy Orators Staff

A very rare and beautiful figured (tiger) maple Iroquois orator's effigy staff (Ahdadisha) depicting a snake biting a frog, with a clasped hand at the final grasping a native gambling piece.  A very similar example was collected by Lewis Henry Morgan from the Cayuga, Iroquois (see below illustration).  Zeisberger describes such staffs or canes to be used in the long house by participants to a tribal counsel.  One would tap the device on the floor boards, wood walls, or center building posts to call attention, much like Anglos raise their hands to gain attention of an audience.  Very good condition with a craquelure surface patina, wear, and very minor losses as expected.  

Provenance: Mildred S. Holbrook Collection, Santa Fe, NM

References:  Lewis Henry Morgan on Iroquois by Elizabeth Tooker

David Zeisberger,

Dealer Brant Mackley Gallery
Date: 18th or first half 19th century
Origin New York or Canada
Artist/Maker Iroquois
Measurements Length: 34 1/2 inches
Inventory View Dealer's Inventory
Price $7,800
Contact Brant Mackley, 717-554-2176 or

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