Honoring the Head in Yoruba Art and Culture
The emphasis on the head (Ori) in Yoruba art and culture goes beyond the obvious importance of the brain as the source which is in control of the body.  "It reveals the anthropocentric nature of Yoruba cosmology, which identifies the Supreme Being, Olodumare as the head of a pantheon of deities called orisa, who act as the agents of its enabling ase."1

The honor given to adorning the head can be seen in this beautiful spiral headdress.  This type of adornment is attributed to the concept that the identity of the supernatural being is determined by the shape, finish, and embellishment of the head.2

Enter here for images of Yoruba art that reflect this reverence and acknowledgement of the importance of the Head in Yoruba Culture.


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Mask with Large Spiral Headdress,
Ekoi, Nigeria
Animal skin, wood and natural fibers
Private Collection

                                                                         Questions or Comments - contact:  tryan@smcvt.edu