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 Museum Explorer

Leaders and rulers
in Africa

A crown of beads

Height: 72.000 cm
Width: 16.000 cm

AOA 1904.2-19.1

A crown of beads

From: Nigeria
Date: 19th century AD

This beautiful Yoruba veiled crown, covered in glass beads, is called an orisha, which means god. When the king's attendant places the crown on his head, it acts like a mask, changing him into a kind of living god. Powerful medicines were put into the top of the crown to protect the king.

Can you see the birds clambering over the crown? These are the Yoruba royal bird, the okin.