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Gelede headdress

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Gelede masquerades celebrate the special powers of female spirits known as, "the mothers". The mothers possess a powerful life force (ase), which can be used for benevolent of malevolent purposes. The destructive capacity of "the mothers" is called "aje" and is associated with infertility,...

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Mr. Omar, Cambridge, MA; sold by Omar to Geneviève McMillan, Cambridge, MA; gift of McMillan to MFA. (Accession Date: June 17, 2009)

Credit Line

Gift of Geneviève McMillan in memory of Reba Stewart

African, Yoruba peoples, Nigeria, 20th century, 1950–2000

Object Place



Overall: 41 x 38 x 36 cm (16 1/8 x 14 15/16 x 14 3/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Wood and paint


Africa and Oceania