Yoruba Gelede Masquerade
by Henry J. Drewal
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Animals in other Gelede masks may be used for satiric purposes to criticize antisocial actions or attributes. Porcupines, because of their voracious appetites and slow, sluggish movement, are sometimes a metaphor for gluttonous or selfish persons. A headdress depicting a plump porcupine devouring a corncob conveys its greed and thus warns/reminds the audience about proper social behavior.