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Yoruba Beaded Crown Adenla in Miter Form Nigeria Africa

Product #: 114070
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Title Yoruba Beaded Crown Adenla in Miter Form Nigeria Africa
Type of Object Crown, hat, headdress
Country of Origin Nigeria
People Yoruba
Materials Fabric, glass beads, vegetal materials or Cardboard?
Approximate Age 20th century or Contemporary
Dimensions Height: 12 Inches
Width: 6.5 Inches
Depth: 7 Inches
strands hang 14-15 inches
Overall Condition Good. Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners. Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use. We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings. Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.
Damage/Repair Stains in cloth and traces of glue, dented. loose threads, repaired top ball

Additional Information:   A wonderful Yoruba beaded crown nicely and entirely embellished with colorful beads. This crown in miter form is decorated with crosses. The base on this example is decorated with a layer of beadwork superbly made. 

The right to wear crowns is limited to approximately fifty Yoruba kings. Theoretically, only direct descendants of one of the sixteen children of the god ORISHA, first king of the Yoruba people, can wear them. ORISHA blessed mankind with the use of beads, and their use is restricted to those whose spiritual powers enable them to move across the boundary that separates men from gods, the secular from the sacred. The crown itself is worshiped. It is placed upon the king's head from behind, usually by the senior wife, because he may not look upon the bird which goes on the top, which holds powerful medicines to protect him and his destiny. The veil is to keep viewers from seeing the king's face, masking his individuality, and also focusing attention on the real focus of power, the crown. The bird symbolizes the fact that the king rules "only with the support of the mothers." Crowns are limited to those who could trace their heritage to Odudua, first king of Yoruba(at Ife). 

Crowns are called orisha (deity) and is the object of care and veneration by a woman at court. The veil focuses the viewer's attention to the crown and to venerate the king's head. Orisha is the generic name for a deity and not a king. It was either of the orishas Olokun (god of the sea) or Obalufon that gave humans the gift of beads. See Fagg's "YORUBA BEADWORK." "In almost all instances of Yoruba ritual art, birds are references to the mystical power of women, known affectionately as "awon iya wa" (our mothers), or abusively as "aje" (witches). As there are positive and negative valences to the mystical powers of women (and gods, spirits and ancestors), so too the substances guarded by the bird-mothers can either protect or destroy the person who wears the crown. Given the central role played by women in controlling, placing, protecting, and sacrificing to the crown, the birds signify that the king himself rules only with the support and cooperation of "awon iya wa." According to the Orangun-Ila: "Without the mothers I could not rule. I could not have power over witchcraft in the town." "Yoruba; Nine Centuries of African Art and Thought," by Henry John Drewal and John Pemberton II .....