X97.16.1 Beaded Apron

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Beaded Apron
Artsist: Felipe Garcia Villami
Velvet, beads, cowrie shells, thread, mirror
W: 61 cm, H: 55.6 cm, D: 3.0 cm (W: 24.0 in, H: 21.8 in, D: 1.1 in)
Fowler Museum at UCLA. Museum Purchase. X97.16.1


Bante (apron) dedicated to Sango and a host of other deities and worn on the iya bata. The beaded design, with the mirror of revelation at the center surrounded by cowries and yellow and green beads, reminds us of the opon Ifa (divination tray). The eight four-cowrie florets that surround the mirror and rings of beads stand in the positions that are usually assigned to eight senior odu If, along the edge of the divination tray. By suggesting the divination tray, the artist puns on the bante’s ability to pon (flatter/wrap) the bata drum. Created in 1997 by Felipe Garcia Villamil.

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 148