About this artwork
When Yoruba people greet a king, they say, “May the crown rest long on your head, may shoes remain long on your feet.” For ritual and state occasions, a Yoruba king dresses from head to toe in elaborate beaded and cloth garments. Beaded shoes probably became part of a king’s regalia in the 18th or early 19th century, as European-inspired fashions gained prestige for many Africans. The faces on these shoes suggest the all-seeing powers of a divine king, who is guided by orisa (deities) and ancestors.
- Currently Off View
- Arts of Africa
- Slippers (Bata Ileke)
- Nigeria (Object made in)
- Glass beads, cloth, and thread
- Gift of Deborah Stokes and Jeffrey Hammer