X97.16.2 Apron

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Artist: Felipe Garcia Villami
Velvet, beads, cowrie shells, thread
L: 55 cm, W: 54 cm, D: 2.2 cm (L: 21.6 in, W: 21.2 in, D: .86 in)
Fowler Museum at UCLA. Museum Purchase. X97.16.2


Bante (apron) dedicated to Osun, Oya, Yemoja, and other powers that reside in water and worn on the middle-sized bata (itotele). The body of the apron is made from dark blue velvet representing water. Osun, Oya and orisa funfun (white orisa) are represented by the cowrie-encircled medallion of three concentric circles of beads. The outer circle of honey and amber-colored beads represents Osun. The cowrie-bordered middle circle of striped beads with two flanking cowrie florets represents Oya. The inner circle of white and crystal beads and cowries represents orisa funfun. Yemoja is represented by the cowrie florets edged in blue, crystal, and amber beads that are north and south of the central medallion. The cowrie florets that man the four corners of the apron represent the four winds of Oya.

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