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Small Gelede mask - Yoruba - Benin
Small mask of traditional African worship Gelede
This African mask is remarkable for its exceptionally small dimensions. In the Yoruba villages of Benin, the powerful society Gelede organized rituals and festivities. The Yoruba were convinced that women had supernatural powers both beneficial and destructive potentially more powerful than those of deities and ancestors. These powers were then to be channeled to serve the community, turning witches into "mothers".
This is the purpose of Gelede. Although the members are women, the masks were worn only by men. These brightly colored crimson masks were often worn in small, fun theater plays caricaturing the chefs. If the idea was to maintain the balance between men and women of the village, these objects also included the framework of dances related to the fertility of the fields and the fertility of women.
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