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Small Gelede mask - Yoruba - Benin
Gelede is to protect man from witches by aesthetic means, involving magic, percussion, sculpture, dress and dance. There is a belief that a witch can transform herself into a bird or animal. Gelede masks are worn by men, but may portray a wide range of male and female characters. The masks are Formally danced in identical pairs and adorned with elaborate, colorful costumes composed of numerous layers of expensive imported cloth, as well as locally made cloth. The mask is worn tilted over the forehead, allowing the dancer to see out beneath the rim through an attached veil of cloth. In the southwestern corner of Yorubaland, among the Ketu, Shaki, Ohero-ljo, Anago, Ifonyin, Annori and Egbado Yoruba, there is a program of sculpture, dance and dress called Efe and Gelede. The sculpture for this society, numerically one of the largest programs in the history of art, involving thousands upon thousands of masks in wood, is a landmark in the cultural history of Africa.Origin : private collection France - BelgiqueDating : 1970'sSize : 12 x 9 cmMaterial : wood
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