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HOME : Islamic Art : AS Collection Consignment : Yoruba Ceremonial Beaded Vest
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Yoruba Ceremonial Beaded Vest - PF.5420
Origin: Southwestern Nigeria
Circa: 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 28" (71.1cm) high x 21" (53.3cm) wide
Collection: African
Medium: Beads, Cowrie Shells

Additional Information: AS

Location: Great Britain
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Both the front and back of this very fine vest are divided into four sections, each crisscrossed with cowrie shells. A pair of twisting red snakes, along with an abstract triangular face representing a deity, are on each of the four panels. On the reverse are chameleons in black edged in yellow. The snake is considered a “messenger” of the gods, while the chameleon is highly regarded for its ability to adapt to its environment, thus possessing the ability of transformation. Beaded garments are made for those of royal and priestly lineage, usually worn during important ceremonial occasions. Both kings and priests are believed to have contact with the gods and with nature, acting as intermediaries between the physical and supernatural worlds. This influence is depicted in art through regalia that communicates a powerful message through the vigorous interplay of symbols, forms, and color. - (PF.5420)


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