Yoruba Gelede Masquerade

by Henry J. Drewal
University of Wisconsin, Madison

Bénin; Yoruba peoples

Mask for Efe/Gelede

Wood, pigment

L. 27 cm (11")

University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art, The Stanley Collection, X1986.341

The head, or more specifically the ori inu ("inner, spiritual head") is, for Yorubas, the site of the essence or destiny of a person. Thus an embellished and beautified head connotes an auspicious life of peace and good fortune.