Headdress (Igi Gelede)

A work made of wood and pigment.

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  • A work made of wood and pigment.

Date:

Early/mid–20th century

Artist:

Fagbite Asamu (active late 19th/mid-20th century) or Falola Edun (active early/mid-20th century)
Yoruba
Nigeria
Coastal West Africa

About this artwork

Like all Gelede headdresses, the lower portion of this one features a stylized human face. The upper portion depicts two hunters wrestling with a pangolin (scaly anteater), symbolizing the struggle inherent in many of life’s endeavors. The action is shown at a moment of dramatic uncertainty. The pangolin leaps forward as the hunters grasp its hind feet. Their own feet are entangled behind them, leaving the men precariously balanced. The viewer is left to wonder whether the hunters will triumph or tumble as their prey escapes. The headdress is the work of the sculptor Fagbite Asamu or his son Falola Edun, who were known for their active compositions.

On View

Arts of Africa, Gallery 137

Artists

Yoruba (Culture) , Fagbite Asamu ,

Title

Headdress (Igi Gelede)

Places

Nigeria (Object made in), Africa (Object made in)

Date

1900-1950

Medium

Wood and pigment

Dimensions

40 × 36.8 × 48.9 cm (15 3/4 × 14 1/2 × 19 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Neal Ball

Reference Number

2008.176

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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