Homage to Gelede
“You are alive and frightening and beautiful when you move.”
*For more than a century, the Gelede ceremony has been performed to pay tribute to the primordial mother Iyà Nlà and to the role women play in the process of social organization and development of Yoruba society.
The Gelede takes place every year after the harvests, at important events and during drought or epidemics and is characterized by carved masks, dances and chants, sung in the Yoruba language and retracing the history and myths of the Yoruba-Nago people.
Figures of animals are often used, such as the serpent, a symbol of power, or the bird, the messenger of the “mothers”. It is the only known masked society, which is also governed by women.
*Homage to Gelede is designed with white hearts, Ghanaian glass beads and hand-carved Kenyan cowbone