Likely acquired by FP Pinkett 1895 - 1911.

Carved in the form of a young maiden who wears a gele, or head wrap. The knot is at the front which alludes to the idea that a young woman’s life is ahead of her.

Fiona Savage:
Gelede mask. Yoruba, Nigeria. Store. Materials: Wood, pigments. Coll: Pinkett
This carved wood Gelede mask represents a woman whose face is painted predominantly white with the exception of the eyes and scarification marks which are painted black. The hair, which is also painted black, is bound by a white head scarf with a faded blue polka dot design.
There are several areas where the paint has rubbed off this mask exposing the natural wood beneath. It is probable that this mask was collected shortly after it had been carved and at the same time as others acquired by Pinkett. It dates to the early 20th century and may have been carved by the same male carver that produced other masks subsequently collected by Pinkett. This mask’s identical twin appears not to have been acquired.
See the explanation above re: Gelede and its cultural function.
Accession Loan No.
Collection Class
Religion and magic
Common Name
Simple Name
Full Name
crest mask: gelede
whole height 295 mm; whole W 150 mm
Cultural Group
Production Year Low
Production Year High
Production Town
Anago Yoruba
Production County
SW Nigeria
Production Country
Production Area Region
West Africa
Production Continent
Family Group

wood; pigment
Function Name
cult object
Function Detail
adapted for wearing on the top of the head or the forehead.
Collection Area Region
Collection Continent

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