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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Yoruba Beaded Works : Yoruba Beaded Ade Oba's Crown
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Yoruba Beaded Ade Oba's Crown - PF.4974
Origin: Southwestern Nigeria
Circa: 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 28" (71.1cm) high x 10" (25.4cm) wide
Collection: African
Medium: Beads and Textile

Location: United States
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The Oba's crown (Ade) is the primary symbol a king's authority, representing both his earthly and spiritual power. It is the king's outward manifestation of temporal rule, and a bold visual expression of the gods from which the king is descended; along with past Oba's royal ancestors, who have themselves become gods. This dual nature is reflected in the bold and beautiful face staring at us as if from another world, with its intense black eyes, blue lips and scarification set against the brilliant yellow. It is both human and spiritual, real and otherworldly, just as is the Oba whose face must be shielded by a veil of beads to protect viewers from his 'divine' gaze. The colorful birds encircling the bottom, middle and crowning the top are symbols of the mystical power of women, particularly the witches of the night who take the form of birds. The king must appease them and win them over to his side in order to rule effectively. Because of its importance only the finest beadworkers are employed in making a crown, creating a work of art that captures the essence of an ancient culture with inventive beauty and wonderful color that seems beyond this world. - (PF.4974)


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