Tribal art > African mask > Gelede mask
Gelede Yoruba helmet mask (N° 20797)
This voluminous helmet mask topped with a curious winged beret displays large bulging eyes, a particularity of the Yoruba style. The surface is openworked with sculpted bands forming a beautiful and unusual cross-shaped effect.
Polychrome ganular patina.
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 supposed to exhort mothers to use their extraordinary qualities for a pacifying and constructive purpose, for the good of society.
In rigorously organized ceremonies, each dancer embodies the deity or character designated by the mask they wear. This "appropriation" is not without danger, so prayers are said and medicines are prepared for the masked dancers.
( Source: Africa, ed. Prestel)
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|Origin||ex-collection française P.M|
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