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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Masterpieces of African Art : Yoruba Oba's Beaded Cushion
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Yoruba Oba's Beaded Cushion - PF.5005
Origin: Southwestern Nigeria
Circa: 20th th Century AD
Dimensions: 7.5" (19.1cm) high x 14.25" (36.2cm) wide
Collection: African
Style: Yoruba
Medium: Beads

Additional Information: closet AF13

Location: United States
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During important ceremonies the seated Oba (king) rests his feet on a beaded cushion. Such cushions are essential parts of the royal regalia. This beautiful example is encircled with six frontal abstract faces in brown-black, yellow- green and red-black, highlighted by white in each. These faces are either representations of the Oba's ancestors, or of various orisa (deities) 'unified' by the king. Colors are important as symbols; in this case green and yellow predominate and are associated with the deity Ifa (an intermediary between humans and higher gods). The rim of the top reveals the name of the Oba, while the internal design shows five interlaced loops with four flower shapes in between. These "loops" turn into flowers on the side panel separating the faces, and are partially hidden by leather tassels. The overall effect of the design pattern is an object of perfect balance and harmony, reflecting the Oba's traditional function as a cohesive force of his people. - (PF.5005)


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