Image Gallery → Power and Prestige

  • Male Royal Ancestor Mask
  • Kuba Belt
  • Kuba Belt
  • Sash with Triangular Pendant
  • Hat (Mpaan)
  • Kuba Belt
  • Man's Prestige Hat (ashetu)
  • Beaded Coronet
  • Beaded Coronet
  • Beaded Coronet
  • Beaded Crown (adenla)
  • Royal Slippers
  • Elephant Mask
Beaded Crown

Beaded Crown (adenla)

Yoruba People
Beaded Crown (adenla)
20th Century
Imported glass seed beads, fabric
Gift of Rod McGalliard

The crown (ade) of the Yoruba king (oba) symbolizes both his divine authority and his life force (ase). The adenla, or great crown with beaded veil (iboju) protects his spiritual power, and also protects his subjects from the force of his gaze. The egret on the very top of the crown, okin, symbolizes the king’s role as peacemaker and protects the medicines stored in the crown, whereas those below it are symbolic of women’s powers. The overall blue and white color scheme evokes the Yoruba concept of coolness associated with deities whose attributes are rationality and calm. The strong zigzag pattern suggests the intensity of the king’s ase, or alternatively, the lightning bolts of the fiery god, Shango.

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