Lot: 64

98th Auction

Headdress "gelede"

Nigeria, Yoruba

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
Walter Glaser, Basel, Switzerland
Arnold Bamert, Solothurn, Switzerland
Zemanek-Münster, Würzburg, 25 February 2006, Lot 173
Werner Zintl, Worms, Germany
H: 12.6 inch 3000 EUR
plus 23 % commission, VAT, transport and insurance

wood, pigments, places of repair

Gelede" masquerade are meant to honour the special spiritual powers of women (specifically elderly women "awon iya wa" and the great mother Yemoja, "iya nla"). The whole community should benefit from their life-giving forces, peace and harmony should be promoted.

"Gelede" festivals take place every year between march and may at the beginning of the new planting season. They have been described as real spectacles. The mask dancers wear headdresses of enormous variety of shapes and colourful costumes to celebrate the different roles of the villagers in society (market traders, blacksmiths, hunters, mothers, priestesses, etc...).


Lawal, Babatunde, The Gèlèdé Spectacle, Seattle, London 1996, p. 196, ill. 7.2
Bamert, Arnold, Afrika, Stammeskunst in Urwald und Savanne, Olten 1980, S. 136, Abb. 94