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Yoruba Beaded Tunic Coral Color Nigeria Africa

Product #: 113709
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Title Yoruba Beaded Tunic Coral Color Nigeria Africa
Type of Object Tunic, garment, Jacket
Country of Origin Nigeria
People Yoruba
Materials raffia, plastic and glass beads, brass
Approximate Age 20th century
Dimensions Height: 32 Inches
Width: 22 Inches
Overall Condition Fair. 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 A few torn threads, and loose and missing beads

Additional Information: A beaded Tunic from the Yoruba people. Lining is handwoven burlap like fabric. These beaded tunics were made to be worn only by chiefs and Shango priests. 

Such tunics were worn by shango priests during festivals, and at possession ceremonies. They are also known as diviner's vests. Divination (Ifa) plays and important role in the lives of the Yoruba determine their actions or explaining misfortunes. Colors and designs on this tunic play significant symbolic roles among the Yoruba people of Nigeria. Yellow and green beads are associated with Ifa, black and white beads with Eshu, red (orange here) and white beads are associated with  Orisha Shango. The blue is associated to the royalties. The significance of geometric motifs, lizards, snakes and human designs on this tunic is to be found in the mythology and Yoruba believes (see Daniel Mato & Chelsea Cooksey. Yoruba: An Art of Life, p.27, fig. 10)

Recommended Reading:


R. F. Thompson: Black Gods and Kings: Yoruba Art at UCLA, (Los Angeles, 1971)

W. Fagg and J. Pemberton III: Yoruba Sculpture of West Africa, (New York, 1982)

H. J. Drewal and J. Pemberton III, with R. Abiodun Yoruba: Nine Centuries of African Art and Thought, (New York, 1989)

Lawal, B.: The Gelede Spectacle. Art, Gender, and Social Harmony in an African Culture. (Seattle, London 1996)

Witte, H.: A Closer Look; Local Styles in the Yoruba Art Collection of the Afrika Museum, Berg en Dal. 2004.

 Daniel Mato, PhD. and Chelsea Cooksey, Yoruba: An Art of Life. The Benneth-Luther Collection, Africa Direct, 2004