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Tribal art > African mask > Gelede mask

Gelede Yoruba mask (N° 18925)

Ex-collection Belgian African tribal art.
This ancient African Yoruba Gelede mask forms a crest that was worn on the top of the head. His face has a rounded shape with expressive features and is animated by large almond-shaped eyes with pierced pupils. The relief treatment of the upper eyelids, bordered with black pigment to create a thick fringe of lashes, lend an almost hypnotic femininity to the eyes. Velvety patina of use, old cracked polychromy, prints of xylophages. Crack on one side. The Gelede cult has become a contemporary heritage, based on ancestral traditions: the Unesco has included it in the PCI (Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity) in 2008.
Concerning the ceremonies of the Gelede, practiced mostly in the western Yoruba kingdoms, the masks are built on the same principle: a face (of the mask-halm type) and a scene that develops on top of the mask. These are used in masquerades dedicated to the "Supreme Mother" Iya Nla, Olokun or Yemoja depending on the region . Their appearance, which entertains the public, both teaches them the virtues of social life and reminds the women of Yoruba society of their obligations towards others.  

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OriginEx-collection Mercier
EthnyYoruba
Countrynigéria
Material(s)wood
Height16
Depth15
Width23
Weight0.51 Kg
Estimated dating1ère halfxx°

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