Headdress for Gelede (Igi)

A work made of wood, pigment, and kaolin.

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  • A work made of wood, pigment, and kaolin.

Date:

Early/mid–20th century

Artist:

Attributed to Idowu Olalaiye (active early/mid-20th century)
Yoruba
Ota, Awori region, Nigeria
Coastal West Africa

About this artwork

The Yoruba masquerade festival called Gelede is a dazzling spectacle that honors the spiritual power of female elders, ancestors, and deities—known collectively as Our Mothers—entertaining them in order to benefit from their supernatural gifts. During the festivities, men dance in matched pairs of headdresses. Gelede headdresses often portray women. One of these depicts a woman wearing a head tie, while the other shows a woman with a plaited hairstyle. The male performers’ costumes would have also included ample breasts, hips, and buttocks and cloth wrappers borrowed from local women, presenting an exaggerated vision of femininity.

On View

Arts of Africa, Gallery 137

Artists

Yoruba (Culture) , Idowu Olalaiye

Title

Headdress for Gelede (Igi)

Places

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

Date

1901-1975

Medium

Wood, pigment, and kaolin

Dimensions

H. 27.9 cm (11 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Richard Faletti, the Faletti Family Collection

Reference Number

2000.315

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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