Gelede Yoruba Crest Mask - Nigeria - African Art Tribal
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.
With a long, sharp growth, this polychrome mask has the yoruba characteristics: large globular eyes and jugal scarifications. In rigorously organized ceremonies, each dancer embodies the deity or character designated by the mask he wears. This is the first-time appropriation is not without danger, so prayers are uttered and medicines are prepared for masked dancers.
Although Gèlèdè and Égun are both masks yoruba or nago, they must never meet on the same stage, the same dance area. There is no hostility or antagonism between them, but it is not good for them to intersect. On a common cultural background, they belong to two different realities. At a ceremony in which several masks come out, their respective powers are neutralized, and the wearers must take this into account. When a mask is invited to perform in another group or village, it must scrupulously make the necessary sacrifices if it does not want to suffer and inflict serious harm on its family. (Source: Africa, ed. Prestel)
Title: Gelede Yoruba Crest Mask - Nigeria - African Art Tribal Art
Type: Mask, crest, helmet
Date/Period: Mid 20th century
Dimension: 25,20 Inch
Weight: 7,50 Pounds
Note: Stand not included
Acquisition: Private collection / via NYC gallery