The Palm Wine Tapper

The Palm Wine Tapper
Details: 
The Palm Wine Tapper
The Palm Wine Tapper
SKU: T77-1106

Twins Seven-Seven (1944 - 2011), Oshogbo, Nigeria
c.1978
Ink, pastel and oli on cloth
(50 1/2" h x 30 1/2"w)

At the entry to the lane that leads to Prince's compound in Osogbo, a palm-wine tapper sits on a bicycle, welded to Prince's design out of scrap metal. In Amos Tutuola's "Palm-Wine Drinkard", the drinard hunts for his dead tapster in the domain of the dead.... 

"This is when I was working on the book of Amos Tutuola, like Palm-Wine Drinker, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, and something like that."

"I made a poem about whoever want me to die earlier will be killed by a palm-wine tapper bicycle, because palm-wine tapper bicycle have no insurance. It was a song from, like, nineteen seventy-four."

from Prince Twins Seven-SevenHis Art, His Life in Nigeria, His Exile in America, by Henry Glassie

Prince Twins Seven-Seven, 2003 (photo courtesy of the artist).

Prince Twins Seven-Seven was born Taiwo Olaniyi Oyewale-Toyeje Oyelale Osuntoki in 1944 in Ijara, Nigeria. The sole survivor of seven successive sets of twins, he renamed himself Ibeji Meje-Meje, or "Twins Seven-Seven". As a member of a royal lineage of the Yoruba people he later took the title of prince. Seven-Seven was one of the original artists of the famed Oshogbo School (named for the city of that name), which arose in the newly independent Nigeria of the early 1960's.

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