Tribal art > African mask > Mask Gelede
Mask Gelede Yoruba (N° 18835)
In Nigeria, the African masks gelede occur during the celebratory dances of the religious society gelede , and at the funerals of its followers. It is only in the regions of Nigeria bordering Benin and in Benin itself that these masks are sometimes accessorized with a ventral mask, such as this example framed by a couple of puppets clinging to the breasts. Matte red ochre patina.
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The Gelede country in Nigeria pays homage to mothers, especially the eldest among them, whose powers would 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 called aje. Masked ceremonies, through performances using masks, costumes and dances, are supposed to exhort mothers to use their extraordinary qualities in a pacifying and constructive way, for the good of society.
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