Gelede mask

Wooden gelede mask, helmeted

In brief, Gelede is an entertaining and colourful masquerade festival performed by men to honour and pacify the spiritual powers of elderly women. Women’s spiritual power is seen as supporting society in its positive manifestation, but in its negative form, as witchcraft, it is seen as destructive. Elderly women, especially, are honoured with a special vantage on the gelede spectacle, which celebrates and pays homage to women, but may also offer humorous critique. Gelede is a masquerade festival celebrated by southwestern Yoruba groups

Collection Information

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