African art > Mask > Gelede Yoruba Mask
Gelede Yoruba Mask (N° 10603)
The crests in traditional African art. African Masks Gélédé are dedicated to elderly women or mothers who can no longer conceive", and are reputed to have both beneficent virtues, promoting fertility, and other harmful, such as witchcraft. During rigorously organized ceremonies, each dancer embodies the deity or the personage designated by the mask he wears. This "appropriation" is not without danger, so prayers are pronounced and medicines are prepared for masked dancers. Although Gèlèdè and Égun are both Yoruba or Nago masks, they should never meet on the same stage, the same dance floor. There is no hostility or antagonism between them, but it is not good that they cross each other. On a common cultural background, they belong to two different realities. In a gelled ceremony in which several masks come out, their respective powers cancel each other out and the bearers must take this into account. When a mask is invited to perform in another group or village, he must scrupulously make the required sacrifices if he does not want to suffer and inflict serious harm on his family. This bright polychrome piece is distinguished by the presence of a parrot at the top of the character's head. The bird holds in its beak the snake that it has knocked down.