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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Masterpieces of African Art : Yoruba Beaded Yata Dance Panel
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Yoruba Beaded Yata Dance Panel - PF.5132
Origin: Southwestern Nigeria
Circa: 20th th Century AD
Dimensions: 35.75" (90.8cm) high x 13.75" (34.9cm) wide
Collection: African
Medium: Cloth and Beads

Location: United States
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In their everyday life, the Yoruba strive to achieve a harmonious balance between nature, human beings, and the gods. The symbiosis is most visually evident in art work created for religious ceremonies. On this striking dance panel there are eight stylized faces done in white relief against a multi-colored background; with the exception of two central ones mainly in white. These faces may represent the unknowable visage of a deity, or the visual image of the inner head, ori inun, or spiritual power of the worshipper. Five very realistic chameleons are positioned so their heads are directed towards the two central white faces. According to Yoruba belief, the chameleon was the first animal upon the earth, placed here to determine the suitability of the land for human beings. The snake too was of primordial origins and here we see five colorful serpents slithering about the panel’s surface. Such panels were used by a devotee of one of the cults dedicated to a particular deity. Through prayer, praise, and sacrifice, the life giving powers of the physical and non-physical worlds can be accessed; particularly with the aid of extraordinary works of art such as this exceptional panel, - (PF.5132)


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