Yoruba Oba's Beaded Cushion - PF.4978
Origin: Southwestern Nigeria
Circa: 1939 AD
Dimensions: 6.5" (16.5cm) high x 15.5" (39.4cm) wide
Catalogue: V30
Collection: African
Style: Yoruba
Medium: Beads

The royal objects of the Oba represent some of the most elegant and colorful of all Yoruba art. This lively cushion is a perfect example of the high degree of artistry the beadworkers possess; both in design and the technical, time consuming work of applying the beads. Encircling the middle panel are six faces, perhaps representing the deity Esu, guardian of the ritual process. A wonderful floral pattern separates the faces, and also adorns the top surface area. The Oba's name and the year 1939 is worked in white beads, a color associated with birth. There is such a lively sense of nature, of life and of energy exuding from this cushion it seems to speak a visual language all its own. The Oba may have used it to sit on, or rest his feet. Because he is considered a 'divine' being descended from gods, his body too is regarded as sacred and all objects he comes into contact with must be of the highest quality. This cushion is a proud symbol of a powerful king, and a beautiful work of art fit for a king. - (PF.4978)