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Hand Carved Sculpture, Osun by Kasali

Egungu by Kasali

It was in the Osun Grove where he met the artist Suzanne Wenger. This was during the period of his apprenticeship. He was often given work cutting grass as a means to earn money. He came to the Groves with his colleagues on a consistent basis.

After he became certified in 1976, he was summoned by Mama Suzanne Wenger (Adunni Olorisa), an Austrian who dedicated her life to the goddess Osun, and she asked him to work with her in restoring the long abandoned Osun Grove.

He worked in making mud wall figures, scaffolding and iron reinforcing for her very large mud sculptures. During their working spree in the Osun grove, there were instances where he introduced his own carving philosophy to Suzanne Wenger. Adunni  saw the talent in him and she gave him the needed support and asked him to always be with her as a partner in the revival of the Yoruba traditions. Most of Kasali’s works have been for the beautification of the Osun Shrine at Osogbo. He became a New Sacred Artist and was inspired to carve works dedicated to the orisa. He was paid a token amount for those works by Adunni Olorisa, who sadly passed away in January of 2009, well into her 90’s. 

Kasali’s unique method of making creative representation was something he saw in a dream where he his father took him to a particular place. He said, “The place I saw in my dream was like a blacksmith’s workshop. I clearly saw many of my ancestors, all carving wood. Among their carving, I saw some in a style that I really love; when I woke up I started to work in that style. I believe that is why my own system of carving is different from others; not only other Yoruba wood carvers but also other wood carvers around the world."