One of six ritual bells likely acquired by FP Pinkett 1895 - 1911.
According to their style, these ritual face bells were probably produced in Ijebu-Ode by the Yoruba people of south-west Nigeria. Ijebu-Ode was a major centre for copper alloy ‘lost-wax casting’, meaning these bells were cast from original sculpture.
Although not strictly musical instruments, the sound of the bells had an important function to announce the presence of powerful authority figures. A mark of the wearer’s rank and power, each bell would have been worn at the left hip with a sash over the right shoulder.
This cast copper alloy head has the ‘ogboni’/oshugbo’ sign in mid forehead, flap and mushrooms on top of head.