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.
- Currently Off View
- Arts of Africa
- Barrister’s Crown (Orikogbofo)
- Raffia, canvas, glass, and pigment
- Gift of Donald Young and Shirley Weese Young