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.
Head with a Beaded Crown and Plume by Yoruba People, 12th15th century
© British Museum
- 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.