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Reproduction Mask Gelede


Yemaya Asesu



Reproduction Yoruban ceremonial Gelede mask created for Yemaya Asesu sopera. Polymer based with sea shells. Olokun ever present.

Worn for the masquerade performances known as "Gelede." This ritual takes place each year between March and May, at the beginning of a new agricultural season. The purpose of the performance is to pay tribute to the special power of women, both elders and ancestors, who are known affectionately as "our mothers." Women can use a spiritual life force, ase, which can be creative or destructive. When these powers are used destructively, women are called aje (witch), and, if angered, are believed to have the capacity to destroy individuals or entire communities. The masquerade provides an opportunity for "our mothers" to be placated or pampered so that they do not use their destructive powers against the Yoruba people; instead they encourage rain and fertile soil.

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