Student Interpretation → Emily Yetzer

  • Lidded Vessel
  • Lidded Vessel
  • Lidded Vessel
  • Lidded Vessel

Yoruba Beaded Crowns

This type of crown, known as an orikogbofo or coronet, is used by Yoruba sacred chiefs. Influences from other cultures are clearly displayed in the crown through the European floral motifs and the formal interpretation of the Islamic fez. These crowns contain medicinal potions to protect the one who wears them.

Beaded Coronet (orikogbofo)

Beaded Coronet (orikogbofo)

Yoruba People
Nigeria
Beaded Coronet (orikogbofo)
20th Century
Imported glass beads, cotton cloth, plant fibers
Gift of Rod McGalliard
2002.39.8

Use of beads for royal regalia in Nigeria dates to around 1000 CE, at the beginning of the Yoruba kingdom. By the late 19th century, with the importation of glass seed beads from Europe, Yoruba artists began experimenting with new forms and motifs, blending European and local styles to produce an array of crowns, coronets and other beaded garments. A Christian bishop’s miter may have inspired this coronet that would have been worn in the presence of a Christian group. Its shape and floral motifs are similar to those produced for the king Oba Alake Ademola II (reigned 1920-1962).

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