Yoruba Beaded Crown

Object Name: 
Yoruba Beaded Crown

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Object Name: 
Yoruba Beaded Crown
Place Made: 
Accession Number: 
96.3.8
Dimensions: 
Overall H: 19 cm, W: 22.1 cm, D: 21.6 cm
Location: 
On Display
Date: 
about 1953
Web Description: 
Among the Yoruba, 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 oba’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.
Department: 
Provenance: 
Africa, Source
1996-03-07
Category: 
Primary Description: 
Yoruba Beaded Crown. Colorless and opaque black glass; natural fibers, wood, glass beads; woven, sewn, embroidered, flame-worked. Beaded crown consisting of a basket structure of natural fibers, lined on the interior with a flannel-like cotton fabric and covered on the exterior by fine woven linen or cotton cloth. Its edge is trimmed with faded red flannel fabric. The crown is divided in four equal sections which are densely embroidered with vertical rows of mirrored bugle beads. The four seams are enhanced by 6 parallel lines of bugle beads on each side, and 9 protruding knops covered with colorless seed beads. On top of the crown rests a waisted wooden(?) knop covered with fabric which is also embroidered with horizontal rows of seed beads. A wide band of diagonal rows of bugle beads decorates the rim. Four three-dimensional stylized birds, their bodies covered in seed beads, with flat wings embroidered with bugle beads and trimmed with seed beads, are sewn onto the center of each panel. The birds' eyes are indicated in opaque black seed beads and the tail feather by four or six, respectively, thin strands of bugle beads; unsigned.
Venue(s)
Corning Museum of Glass 2013-05-18 through 2014-01-05
For 30,000 years, mankind has crafted beads from natural materials. With the discovery of glassmaking in the second millennium B.C., glass began to be used for this same purpose. Glass beads are universal. They have been produced throughout the 35 centuries of glass manufacturing, and by nearly every culture in the world. The glass beads and beaded objects on view in this exhibition are arranged thematically, comparing the manner in which diverse cultures have utilized beads, frequently for the same purposes, but sometimes for unique reasons. These themes explore how glass beads adorn the body and our possessions; how they convey messages about power and wealth, and identify the stages of human life; how they serve ritual purposes, as well as decorate clothing and objects used in rituals; and how they have been employed across the centuries as a means of exchange, both commercial and cultural. Through the centuries, beads have been made using a variety of processes. Understanding how beads were made has allowed scholars to follow the transmission of beads and beadmaking techniques across the globe. Across time and around the world, glass beads have become a common element of mankind. Through their manufacture and function, they are one of the strings that bind humanity together. “Life on a String” celebrates this common bond while also revealing the distinctiveness of different societies through their use of glass beads to celebrate their unique cultural heritage.
Yoruba Crown (family) (2011)BIB# 131713
Recent Important Acquisitions, 39 (1997) illustrated, pp. 186-187, #55; BIB# AI5243