Beaded Crown (Ade) of Onijagbo Obasoro Alowolodu, Ògògà of Ikere 1890-1928
ART OF INNOVATION
These three works speak to the highly inventive history of Yoruba art. Incorporating outside materials, they each reflect how both a colonial past and global exchange shaped shifting ideas about local identity.
Even this bead-embroidered crown, the ultimate symbol of Yoruba kingship, is the product of a complex global story. Although the Yoruba have a long history of glassmaking, the large, multicolored ade crown depicts figures wearing bowler hats and contains beads imported by the British in the late nineteenth century into what would soon become the Nigeria colony. The smaller beaded crown, known as an oríkògbòfó, is an evolution of the ade form, but it is modeled after the wig of a British barrister (lawyer), still worn in court today by members of the Nigerian judiciary.
Yinka Shonibare, a British artist of Yoruba and Nigerian descent, used Dutch wax-printed fabric to create Skipping Girl. This material—a commodity associated with Africa but actually created in Europe, based on Indonesian designs, and sold in West Africa—serves as a symbol of the web of economic and cultural interrelationships among Africa, Asia, and Europe. Shonibare exposes cultural "authenticity" as an illusion and evokes the layers of historical connections among global cultures.
- Culture: Yoruba
- Medium: Basketry, beads, cloth
- Place Made: Osun State, Nigeria
- Dates: late 19th century
- Dimensions: 37 3/4 x 9 1/2 in. (95.9 x 24.1 cm) (show scale)
- Collections:Arts of Africa
- Museum Location: This item is on view in Double Take Installation, East Gallery, 1st Floor
- Accession Number: 70.109.1a-b
- Credit Line: Caroline A.L. Pratt Fund, Frederick Loeser Fund, and Carll H. de Silver Fund
- Rights Statement: Creative Commons-BY
- Caption: Yoruba. Beaded Crown (Ade) of Onijagbo Obasoro Alowolodu, Ògògà of Ikere 1890-1928, late 19th century. Basketry, beads, cloth, 37 3/4 x 9 1/2 in. (95.9 x 24.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Caroline A.L. Pratt Fund, Frederick Loeser Fund, and Carll H. de Silver Fund, 70.109.1a-b. Creative Commons-BY
- Catalogue Description: Conical basketry frame, covered with beaded cloth. Bead colors: green, yellow, amber, red, orange, white, royal and navy blue, and aqua. Top of crown surrmounted by dettachable bird. Second tier has four standing human figures, third tier has two frontal faces, two equestrian figures, and two standing figures. Attached beaded flaps at rim, with geometric patterns. Open work veil with frontal face. CONDITION: Veil flap missing beads, as are beads on equestrian figures, left standing figures, and second tier standing figures. Flaps and cloth framework frayed. Cinical basketry frame, covered by stiffened cloth base and embroidered with green, amber, yellow, red, orange, white, royal blue, aqua, and navy blue beads. Top of crown surrmounted by dettachable bird. Second tier of crown has four standing figures. Third tier has two frontal faces, two equestrian figures, two standing figures. Thress attached beaded flaps at rim, decorated with geometric designs. Forth flap, a veil, is open work with frontal face. CONDITION: Veil flap missing beads wherejoins crown proper. Beads missing from equestrian, left standing figure, and four figures of second tier. Flaps and cloth framework is frayed
- Record Completeness: Best (85%)