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Object Name: Nigeria
Cultural Group: Yoruba peoples
Materials Used: Cloth, leather, cowrie shells, glass beads, metal, plant fiber, wood, string, rawhide
Dimensions: Diam: 22 cm, Total height: 74 cm (Diam: 8.6 in, Total height: 29.1 in)
Credit line and Accession Number: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Helen and Dr. Robert Kuhn. X77.902a,b
This is an unusual and inventive ade Bayanni. A female head, finely coifed with the agogo style (high crest), with brass eyes and long, dangling earrings, sits upon an elongated leather neck surrounded with cloth, leather, and beaded necklaces. Below, her beaded body is covered in horizontal, multicolored bands of concentric circles, interlace, and serrated patterns that recall females torso tattoos. Her beaded breasts and nipples allude to her loving, nurturing nature. This beaded torso is connected by a leather cord to a cowrie-covered cylinder open at the bottom and sealed at the top. Four long cowrie “braids” are suspended from the top of the cylinder at each cardinal point. The interior, lined with aso oke (indigo-blue-and-white-striped narrow loom cloth), completes this lavish ensemble for Queen Bayanni.
Source: Drewal, H., Mason, J. (1998). “Beads, Body, and Soul – Art and Light in the Yoruba Universe”, Los Angeles: UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History. page 242