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Gelede headdress

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The Gelede society honors the creative and potentially destructive powers of women, especially elderly women (referred to as "our mothers" and identified with sorcery). At annual celebrations marked by elaborate dance performances, paired male and female masks worn by men appear in rich textile...

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Bryce Holcombe (d. 1983), New York [see note 1]; October, 1985, sold by Pace Primitive and Ancient Art, New York, to William and Bertha Teel, Marblehead, MA; 1991, gift of William and Bertha Teel to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 22, 1992) NOTES: [1] Director of Pace Primitive and Ancient Art.

Credit Line

Gift of William E. and Bertha L. Teel

African, Yoruba peoples, Republic of Benin, late 19th century


41.91 cm (16 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Wood, pigment


Africa and Oceania