X96.3.3 Beaded Bag

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Beaded Bag
Yoruba peoples
Beads, thread, cloth
89 cm (35.0 in)
Fowler Museum at UCLA. Museum Purchase. X96.3.3


The shapes and proportions in this beaded bag mark the hand and vision of a distinctive artist. Panels on the strap, as well as faces on the bag, have been elongated and then cut off at the bottom with a sharp horizontal line. The angularity of form and line, combined with strong color contrasts, is strikingly bold. The placement of four faces around a larger central face recalls the cardinal points and cosmic crossroads invoked by diviners and priests during rituals.

Source: Drewal, H., Mason, J. (1998). “Beads, Body, and Soul – Art and Light in the Yoruba Universe”, Los Angeles: UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History. page 233