Photographs © Hamill Gallery
Despite its appearance this Gelede mask was probably made to be sold.
There is paint loss in many areas. The back piece of the bird-like cap is broken off and a crack (now stable) from the top back to the bottom left. A wider crack (also stable) is on the bottom back on the right side.
Gelede, a male association, uses the aesthetic power of sculpture, costume, song and dance to placate and please women, who have special spiritual power. Often with elaborate superstructures, the headdresses appear as identical pairs in the dances.