This shrine depicts a large seated Jina surrounded by 23 other jina figures and a variety of attendants. The Jina figures that adorn the sides and are arranged in tiers above the main figure. The side columns and the whole is surmounted by auspicious pot forms. The main figure sits in the lotus position on a lion throne flanked by a male and female demigod. Along the sides he is flanked by standing cauri bearers, garland bearers above them and riders on elephants above that with an umbrella with a standing figure on it above his head. At the base in the center is a standing figure holding a sick or club with a bull cognizance behind him on the base of the throne. The nine globs on the base, four to his right and five to his left represent the nine planets and his hands folded in a gesture of meditation
Identified as the jina Rishabha by the bull before his throne, Rishabha or Adinatha is the first of the Jaina line of teachers. Loosely translated as Spiritual Victors and called Peaceful Liberators in an important exhibition catalogue, there is a line of twenty-four jinas in Jainism. Their other important title is tirthamkara, or “ford crosser” designating them as figures who can teach others in the means for liberation. Jaina cosmology consists of a constant swing from perfection to dissolution and twenty-four jinas map out this progression. Rishabha, as the first existed at a time when the perfect state began to dissolve, had to teach people how to cope. For instance, when Wish Fulfilling Trees stopped producing, he had to teach people agriculture. He had to teach them pottery, statecraft and many other things. Rishabha, the primordial tirthankara, taught mankind the arts that separate them from beasts, including the kindling of fire. He also established the basic structures of society by dividing people into classes according to their occupations. On this altarpiece there are 23 teachers surround him. The rituals used for Jaina images are often the same as used in Hinduism and there is some confusion over this in the literature. Hindus consider them gods, but Jainas do not, but they are objects of reverence.
Brass female figure, kneeling with buttocks on the heels, atop an iron staff. The protruding eyes, nose, and mouth convey a serene, dignified and somewhat withdrawn look. The figure has a beard around the face; she wears ornamentation in small holes atop the ears, cone-shaped headgear, and an elaborate necklace; there is a small spiral motif on the forehead, and two larger spiral motifs on the sides of the body. The hands are held in closed fists in front of the body, the left hand on top of the right.
The anthropomorphic brass staffs and figures of the Ogboni society usually come in male-female pairs and are called "Edan." This example is female, as indicated by the breasts and genitals. Female "edan" have beards, too, like their male counterparts-- the beard signifying old age, experience, and wisdom. The staff is an emblem of membership in the Ogboni society of the Yoruba peoples of southwestern Nigeria; the gesture of the hands made by the figurine on top shows the way members greet each other (with fists clenched, left hand over the right: representing the supremacy of the earth). The Ogboni society (also called the Oshugbo society) is a council made up of male and female elders proven to have high integrity and mature judgement. In precolonial times, and to a lesser extent today, this council fulfilled a number of political, judicial and spiritual functions, including the selection and removal of kings and punishment of serious offenders.