ritual beadwork with face and sixteen birds mounted on the crown; long fringe hangs from crown

Crown, about 1920

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There’s a good reason why a Yoruba crown is always placed on the ruler’s head from behind or from the side: grave disaster could strike if the king sees inside the conical headdress, so potent is its power. For similar reasons, his subjects shouldn’t gaze upon his face, usually covered by a beaded veil to prevent such encounters. This crown is also adorned with royal birds, regarded as important messengers between the divine world and the earth.

Details
Title
Crown
Role
Artist
Dimension
L.15 (crown), L.15 (fringe) in.
Accession Number
76.29
Curator Approved

This record is from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator, so may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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ritual beadwork with face and sixteen birds mounted on the crown; long fringe hangs from crown