This is a fabulous Hand Carved Painted Wood Gelede Headdress Mask worn by men in elaborate masquerade performances known as "Gelede., from the Yoruba People of Nigeria. This ritual takes place each year between March and May, at the beginning of a new agricultural season. The purpose of the performance is to pay tribute to the special power of women, both elders and ancestors, who are known affectionately as our mothers, because Women use a spiritual life force, which can be creative or destructive. The masquerade provides an opportunity for the mothers to be placated or pampered so that they do not use their destructive powers against the Yoruba people; instead they encourage rain and fertile soil. The masks are worn at an angle on the top of the head, with pairs of men wearing similar masks. The harmony and balance demonstrated by good dancers shape a metaphor for social perfection, where people help one another, share their wealth and talents, and enjoy the life they have been given. This is wonderful old Gelede helmet mask that would compliment your collection or home.
Late 20th century
COMES ON A STAND
Shows age, some discoloration, but is in good condition.
40.5" Tall on Stand
33" Tall Mask
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