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4 / Ceremony and Society

Royal Crown (adènlà)
Royal Crown (adènlà)
Artist / Origin Yoruba artist, Nigeria
Region: Africa
Date 20th century
Material Glass beads, fiber, cloth, and thread
Medium: Other
Dimensions 54 1/2 in x 8 x 8 in (including beaded veil)
Location Newark Museum, Newark, NJ
Credit Courtesy of the Newark Museum

expert perspective

Mary Nooter RobertsProfessor of Culture and Performance, University of California, Los Angeles
Babatunde LawalProfessor of Art History, Virginia Commonwealth University
Christa ClarkeSenior Curator of Arts of Africa and the Americas, Newark Museum

Royal Crown (adènlà)

» Yoruba artist, Nigeria

expert perspective

Babatunde Lawal Babatunde Lawal Professor of Art History, Virginia Commonwealth University

Among the Yoruba, the king is a representative of the living dead because the process of coronation implies a ritual death, a rebirth in the body of the new king of the founding ancestor. That was why in the past kings hardly appeared in public without covering their faces. Such kings wore crowns with their face on top, stylized to represent the public face of the individual underneath who is now a reincarnation of the royal dead.” 

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