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 Yoruba Beaded Vest

The Yoruba people of southwestern Nigeria are one of the largest ethnic groups of Africa's largest country. Yoruba kings have traditionally been powerful, reflecting the strength of the people themselves.

Traditionally, beadwork was sacred and was reserved for the kings and other people of high rank. People who did the beadwork were considered very skilled craft workers.

Left: front of the vest, dominated by rabbit designs.

Aside from kings, beadwork was used mostly by priests of Shango (Sango), believed to be an Yoruba ancestor and the God of Thunder. He is associated with twin births; the Yoruba have the highest rate of twin births in the world. Beaded vestments are always associated with Shango because they were part of his costume.

Right: the back of the vest, with rabbit and elephant designs.

There is no of claim any particular age for this vest, nor is it known whether it has been worn ceremoniously. However, it is certain that it made in the tradition. It is finely crafted and in excellent condition. It would be a startling addition to any collection.

Its dimensions are 27 x 18 inches (58.6 x 45.7 cm). Price: was $575 (with free postage and handling).

Left: Interior with strips of cloth sewn together. The traditional indigo dyed cloth is called aderi.

The seller was:

Shari Maxson Hopper
Paradise & Co.
2902 Neal Road
Paradise CA 95969

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