Nigeria, extremely well carved, the basket atop the head carved with detachable lid. However, overall fine patina indicative of traditional use. height 17in
Exhibited: Governors State University, IL;, 2003; Krannert Art Museum, IL, 2003; Belger Art Foundation/University of Missouri-Kansas City, MO, 2004; Tall Grass Art Association, IL, 2005.
Published: Bourgeois and Rodolitz, REMNANTS OF RITUAL: SELECTIONS FROM THE GELBARD COLLECTION OF AFRICAN ART, Ethnos, New York, 2003, p.20, fig.47
Masks, known as Gelede, are utilized by the Efe/Gelede Association among the Western Yoruba. This society honors the mothers, in relation to female ancestors and deities. However, an interesting duality exists in that Gelede is also an anti-witchcraft society, and at the same time, is thought to have close affiliations to witchcraft itself. This particular mask, carved from one piece of wood, may represent a young woman, bringing her goods to marketplace.