Copyright © 2024 Fowler Museum. All Rights Reserved.

Sitemap Privacy Policy

Admission is Free | Open 12–5pm


X92.160 Beaded shoes


Object Name: Beaded shoes
Place of Origin: Nigeria
Cultural Group: Yoruba peoples
Materials Used: Leather, rawhide, burlap, cloth, beads, thread
Dimensions: H: 9.0 cm, L: 27.5 cm, W: 12.0 cm (H: 3.5 in, L: 10.8 in, W: 4.7 in)
Credit Line and Accession Number: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Dr. and Mrs. James Strain. X92.160

Prototypic European crowns adapted from British coasts of arms encircle the surface. Their position is upright when viewed by the royal wearer, their triangular summits pointing to the front of the shoe. The Yoruba text inscribed on the crowns reads yeala, alaye, a prayer to God as the owner of the world. The head on the top of the shoe faces forward and has a zigzag pattern on its forehead. Like similar faces with forehead diamonds on other royal regalia (such as those on foot cushions), these marks are probably oblique references to the prepared heads of rulers, sanctified and strengthened during their enthronement rites.

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 219

SKU: X92.160 Category:

Stay Connected