Head with a Beaded Crown and Plume by Yoruba People

One of the supreme achievements of West African Art, this head of an unidentified ruler of Ife, religious centre of the Yoruba in Southern Nigeria, wears a crown painted red to represent carnelian beads.


Leaded brass - green patina with traces of red paint
36 cm
Art Fund grant:
£100 ( Total: £100)
Acquired in:

It has small holes surrounding the mouth, probably intended for inserting hair to depict a beard and a moustache. The bronze was cast by the cire perdue (lost wax) method and it was probably made for use at funerary ceremonies, when it may have been attached to a wooden figure.

Venue details

British Museum Great Russell Street, LONDON London WC1B 3DG 020 7323 8181 www.britishmuseum.org

Entry details

50% off with National Art Pass

Daily, 10am – 5.30pm (Fri until 8.30pm)

Closed 24 – 26 Dec and 1 Jan