Ogun’s Bottle

The bottle I made was to have a focus around Ogun.  Ogun is a person that is focused on metalwork along with strong alcohol.  I did not include rum into my bottle as it was more focused around the metalwork and colors of the spirit.

Ogun is a spirit of metalwork and rum in Haitian culture.  He is known to have a rather short temper and somewhat controlling.  He is not afraid to fight and will be straight forward with whoever he is talking to.  He has a background of being a hunter and someone to lookup to in terms of getting things done.  Looking into what he does, metalworking this is needed.

With metalworking, nothing made with metal is truly useful unless it is complete.  For example, a knife or a sword is degraded to a butter knife if not sharpened or finished.  This plays well into the fact that Ogun is hard working.  Other characteristics of Ogun show that he is a bit selfish based on what Haitians believe.  This is shown that stories say that he would not be against killing off his opponents.  Since he controls the power of shaping metal, he can use brute force for power and therefore be able to take what he wants.

When it comes to my bottle, I attempted to focus on designing around the idea of metal and the colors he is known for.  Ogun is known for metal which is why there are so many objects inside that are.  The Altoids tin is focused on the idea that he enjoys working on metal.  The fork has a two-fold idea that the fork itself is supposed to represent metalworking and the screw is representative of keeping bad spirits away.  In Haitian belief, a nail within the tongs of a fork is supposed to help keep the person who places it in the soil safe.

On the Altoids tin, there is the color of the cinnamon Altoids along with the symbol of Ogun on the top.  The cinnamon is the spice or fire that Ogun has usually found within his rum.  Red that is on the tin is also in representation of the sash Ogun typically wears on himself.  Lastly, within the bottl, there is also a knife.  A machete could not fit like a full nail in place of the screw so a knife was used.  In Haiti, a knife is typically used as well on altars which would fit this idea.  Ogun’s keepsake item that he always has is his machete.  The machete is the pinnacle of craftsmanship in Haiti as it can be used to slaughter animals like Ogun enjoys, or it could be used for multiple forms of supporting a family like safety or cutting wood.

The last metalworking item on the bottle is on the top.  The top of the bottle is a chain.  Although not handmade, the focus on it was that it takes a lot of time make a chain by hand.  Ogun would be in favor a chain making as it is tough to make on its own as well.  Each link but be linking full without any gaps for it to break.  Also, for the fun Ogun, and the history of Haiti, a chain can be used as a good weapon if needed.

The last part of the bottle to mention about is the symbols and colors of Ogun.  The symbol of Ogun was able to be cut from a sticker at the maker lab and the excess picked off the non-sticky side until the end result could be seen.  Then it was put on the bottom side of the Altoids tin to have a contrast and be seen easier.

The colors that are on the top, middle, and bottom represent the colors of Ogun.  Depending on where you look, Ogun’s secondary color is navy blue or purple.  I chose blue as it seems to be slightly more prominent in readings and other sculptures.  It is also the color Guede is known for and keeping a separation of who is known for what color seemed to be important to what I was displaying.  The green is the Ogun’s primary color as he is usually wearing clothes being green.  Following his green clothing, at the bottom there is red ribbon spiraling around the bottle.  This represents the sash he has with him.  It can also have a second representation as to his personality.  Ogun is aggressive and likes rum. Red in most cultures is the color of fire, aggression, hot, and anything else with a lot of energy.  It fits well with the Altoids tin at the bottom and who Ogun is as a person.

Overall, the bottle needs to be seen on all sides to take in what is on the inside of the bottle and the outside of the bottle.  From the symbol side, it shows the outside well with the colors, the symbol, and the red of the Altoids tin.  On the opposite side, the inside can be seen much better.  The knife, fork, and screw showing what the spirit typically is known for.

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