Yoruba mask of the Gelede

In West Africa, the Gelede company celebrating the place of the mother-woman in the Yoruba universe, includes many traditional masks always more extravagant than each other like this superb copy.

The African Gelede mask itself is most often topped with a tray as seen here or a complex set accompanied by various zoomorphic and / or anthropomorphic representations, all skillfully colored.

Here, a dressed figure whose turgid virile member is fed using a tube in which the dancer spits water which is then ejaculated on the face of the spectators. The character's arms are animated with cords on which the dancer can pull.

Note that this mask is perfectly functional, which obviously testifies to its authenticity and its participation in festivities for many years before being repatriated by a collector.

In African art, the Gelede festivities are organized by the Yoruba present in Benin. They still take place today.

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Data sheet

Presumed dating
Circa 1950
54 x 27 cm
Ethnic group
Wood, accessories
Tribal art collection France

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