**Originally Listed At $200**
Africa, Nigeria, Yoruba, ca. early 20th century CE. A fantastic example of a hand-carved wooden Gelede helmet mask. The face is delightfully delineated with bold features including almond-shaped with incised lashes, a straight nose, slightly parted lips as if speaking, singing, or chanting, cup-shaped ears, and repeated elongated oval patterns that move horizontally down the cheeks, indicating scarification marks. Adding to his appearance is a fancy coiffure comprised of a rising, incised/combed, central section flanked by a double triangle motif on the right side and a crescent tuft of hair behind the left ear. The base is concave to fit the top of the wearer's head, and perforated all around presumably to attach to a costume or ornaments. Size: 6.25" W x 8.75" H (15.9 cm x 22.2 cm)
The Gelede is a celebration of the power of women - spirits, ancestors, and older women of the community - that incorporates art and masked dance in a colorful, lively spectacle. Gelede masks like this one are worn with fabric costumes that are attached to the masks. Mask decorations vary widely, and are meant to show the personality and lineage of the person wearing the mask.
Provenance: ex-Adeon Gallery, Chicago, Illinois, USA acquired prior to 1970
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