The Yoruba people of southwestern Nigeria have developed a highly sophisticated and extravagant style of beadwork. Their lineage is linked to the city-state of Ile-Ife in Nigeria, which was an important center of trade from the 11th to 15th centuries, with a tradition of highly skilled artists. There, beads were made in stone, terra cotta, and metal, but used only by the elite, and red jasper beads were imported into the city. European glass seed beads began to enter Nigeria in great numbers at the end of the 18th century. The Yoruba quickly developed a grand style of beadwork that utilized the tiny, brilliantly colored beads. Beadwork was employed almost entirely to denote and to celebrate the power of the oba (king), orisha (divine spirits), and spiritual ancestors. Beadwork is found on much of the king’s regalia, from the impressive adenla (conical crown) to footstools and fly whisks. The installation of a new ruler includes the consecration of the elaborate beaded crown, imbuing it with the power and sacredness of the king. The crown also contains protective elements or “medicines” on the interior to give it an apotropaic quality. Following his installation, the king must never have his head uncovered, for fear this would leave him susceptible to curses or other injuries. The beaded coronet was developed as a nonritual head covering that the king could wear outside the palace. It was less ornate than the crown but still highly decorative, and protective components were sewn inside it. The style was often influenced by European cultures and politics, as can be seen in the coronets that imitate English royal crowns (e.g., 96.3.8) or the wigs worn by English lawyers. This example of a beaded coronet incorporates both English influences and traditional Yoruba symbols. The crown surmounted by a cross is an emblem of the English monarchy, but the birds in flight are traditional spiritual references and are always seen on the larger, official crown. Such coronets, which exhibit great skill and imaginative designs, are truly unique forms of wearable art.