User Menu

MFA for Educators

Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.

Gelede Headdress

Start collecting

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,...

Show Full Description


illegible written inscription underside of base with two words and a #2.


By 1970s, Paris, France; 1970s, 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, Republic of Benin, 20th century, 1950–2000

Object Place

Republic of Benin


Overall: 16.5 x 20 x 27.5 cm (6 1/2 x 7 7/8 x 10 13/16 in.) Lender Accessory (Hinel base): 42.3 cm (16 5/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Wood and pigment


Africa and Oceania