For Yoruba peoples of West Africa and the Americas, ase (pronounced “ah-shay”), the power to bring things to pass, resides within certain people and objects. This divine life force is present in the beaded crowns made for Yoruba kings in Africa to honor the orisa, or deities, and in ritual articles made and worn by followers of Yoruba religion in the Americas. In both contexts, the crown covers the outer head while imbuing the inner head with the revered ancestral authority of ase.
Source: Gallery text, Intersections: World Arts, Local Lives, 2006.
See also: Marla C. Berns, World Arts, Local Lives: The Collections of the Fowler Museum at UCLA. Fowler Museum, Los Angeles, 2014.