Yoruba Gelede – Nigeria

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Yoruba Gelede Helmet MAsk- Nigeria
Carved wood with pigment
523 x 19 x 37cm
£380
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Yoruba Gelede – Nigeria

£650.00

Yoruba Gelede – Nigeria
Carved wood with pigment, circa 1940
53 x 19 x 37cm

 

Product Description

Carved wood with pigment, circa 1940
53 x 19 x 37cm

The Yoruba peoples are found in the West African countries of Nigeria and Benin, and consist of many distinct ethnicities, but are united by similar languages, common religious practices, and shared history.

Yoruba masks are used as part of the Gelede masquerade celebrating female ancestors and elderly women. For the Yoruba, mask performances, along with music and dancing, are a way of recognising female status. Without the kind of attention provided by such spectacle, the spirit world is thought to lash out and punish the living.

Gelede masks are composed of two parts: the head and the superstructure. The head is the abstracted and idealised feminine face. Its expression is often serene, demonstrating the timelessness of the spirit world. In contrast, the superstructure represents the ever-changing physical world. Its forms update with new trends and fads.