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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.5006
Origin: Southwestern Nigeria
Circa: 20th th Century AD
Dimensions: 6" (15.2cm) high x 13.5" (34.3cm) wide
Collection: African Art
Medium: Beads

Location: United States
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Through the use of symbols and color the unifying force of the Oba is exemplified in this very handsome cushion. The six faces encircling the side panel represent orisa (deities) which the king is able to utilize or control. Their markings, such as the zig-zag pattern on the foreheads and vertical strips down the cheeks, are connected with diverse cult-affiliations. Floral designs, such as the lovely arrangement on the top of the cushion, shows the fertile land blooming with life under the sway of the Oba. Such foliate motifs also indicate an Islamic or Western influence. Around the rim the king's name is inscribed in white. Leather tassels cover lovely flowers with curved stalks alternating between the faces. When one examines the extremely small size of each bead, it is then no wonder why beaded work is synonymous with wealth. As a work of art and symbol of authority this cushion is worthy of a king. - (PF.5006)


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