“House of the Head” (Ile-ore)
Yoruba Culture, Nigeria
E. 20th C.
Cowrie Shells, Leather, Mirrors, Fabric
13” H x 8” Dia., 17” H on the Stand
33 cm H x 20 cm Dia., 43 cm H on the stand
Provenance: A. Nievod, Berkeley, California
The Yoruba believe each person’s character is determined by the essential nature that is found in one’s inner head (ori-inu)
A “house of the head” (ile-ore) is a shrine to the inner head and is designed to contain one’s essential nature. A symbolic head is placed in a house like this and is consulted for guidance. The cowrie shells, originally a currency, are a symbol of wealth and well being. The large quantity of cowrie shells indicate this shrine was for a person of prestige.
Price upon request