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

Shrine of the head

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The head is one of the most significant components of Yoruba sculpture and cosmology. The Yoruba believe that the head (ori) is the source of one's ase, or life force, that dictates one's personality and destiny. This shrine, also known as ibori, is a personal shrine that represents one's ase....

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By 1965, Galerie Majestic, Paris; 1965, sold by Galerie Majestic 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, Nigeria, Yoruba peoples, 20th century

Object Place



Overall: 22 x 35 x 32 cm (8 11/16 x 13 3/4 x 12 5/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

wood, cowry shells, fabric, leather, glass, metal tack


Africa and Oceania


Decorative arts