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Barrister’s Crown (Orikogbofo)

A work made of raffia, canvas, glass, and pigment.

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  • A work made of raffia, canvas, glass, and pigment.

Date:

Mid–20th century

Artist:

Yoruba
Nigeria
Coastal West Africa

About this artwork

Within many African communities, headwear is used to signify social, religious, political, and personal status. The form of this beaded crown is based on the British barrister’s wig. It would have been worn by a Yoruba oba, or king, at the opening of the legislature or for other occasions related to the Nigerian legal system. During the mid-20th century, when this crown was made, Nigeria was under British rule, and it explicitly references British judge’s wigs. However, it also incorporates traditional Yoruba iconography: the projection on the top refers to the sacredness of the oba’s head and his role as mediator between the Yoruba people and the gods.

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Arts of Africa

Culture

Yoruba

Title

Barrister’s Crown (Orikogbofo)

Origin

Nigeria

Date

1925–1975

Medium

Raffia, canvas, glass, and pigment

Credit Line

Gift of Donald Young and Shirley Weese Young

Reference Number

2015.301

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 . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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