Tribal art > African mask > Gelede mask
Gelede Yoruba mask (N° 16962)
Gelede in African art. Gelede mask featuring a face topped with a superstructure composed of arched, rectilinear elements and bird figures. In Nigeria, also in Benin, this African mask worn on top of the head is used for the Gelede society's celebratory dances, and on the occasion of the funerals of its followers. These masks occur in pairs, each with a specific name. Matt polychrome patina, cracks and abrasions from use.
Gelede country in Nigeria pays homage to mothers, especially the older ones, whose powers are said to be comparable to those of the Yoruba gods, or orisa, and ancestors, osi and which can be used for the benefit but also for the misfortune of society. In the latter case these women are named aje. Masked ceremonies, through performances using masks, costumes, and dances, are meant to exhort mothers to use their extraordinary qualities for peaceful and constructive purposes, for the good of society.
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