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Royal Headress

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Published on Oct 9, 2012

Royal Headress
http://www.imamuseum.org/art/collecti...

Beaded items have long been associated with royalty among the Yoruba. Cone-like crowns like this one are primary symbols of a king's authority. When wearing it, a king becomes connected to royal ancestors, thereby strengthening his authority. Since it is prohibited for people to gaze directly at the king's head, a veil is included to conceal him.

The figure at the top of the crown refers to a specific type of bird associated with royalty. Long white tail feathers from the actual bird are often attached to the crown. Interpretations of the face on the front include Oduduwa, the first Yoruba king, and Olokun, god of the sea and "the owner of beads."

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