Tribal art > African mask > Masque Gelede
Yoruba Nago mask of the Gelede cult (N° 17662)
The Gelede in African art. In Nigeria, also in Benin, this African mask in the form of a janiform heame is accompanied by its suit in cotton fabric and colorful velvet. It is used for gelede society's rejoicing dances, and for the funeral of its followers. These masks occur in pairs, each with a specific name. A stage composed of figures of musicians and acrobats rests on the hem endowed with a dazzling polychromy and traditional Yoruba ethnic scarifications. Excellent condition. Patine mate.
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The Gelede country in Nigeria pays tribute to the mothers, especially the oldest of them, whose powers would be comparable to those of the Yoruba gods, or orisa, and the ancestors, osi and who 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 urge mothers to use their extraordinary qualities for a peaceful and constructive purpose, for the good of society. The Gelede cult to which this mask is associated has become a contemporary heritage, on the basis of ancestral traditions: the IEC (Immaterial Cultural Heritage of Humanity) in 2008.
(Source: Africa, ed. Prestel)
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