Nigerian Wood Carved Mask, Gelede, Nigeria
Gelede Headdress. Dimensions: 12" x 9" x 12"
Masks like this are worn by men in elaborate masquerade performances known as "Gelede." This ritual takes place each year between March and May, at the beginning of a new agricultural season. The purpose of the performance is to pay tribute to the special power of women, both elders and ancestors, who are known affectionately as "our mothers." Women can use a spiritual life force, ase, which can be creative or destructive. The masquerade provides an opportunity for "our mothers" to be placated or pampered so that they do not use their destructive powers against the Yoruba people; instead, they encourage rain and fertile soil.
The Estate of John and Hazel Hales-Biggers certify that the objects listed to be from the collection of African Art collected by the artist John T. Biggers during the last half of the 20th Century. each object comes with a signed and numbered Certificate of Authenticity from the estate.