Unidentified Yoruba maker


20th century

Wood and pigment

Overall: 15 15/16 × 10 13/16 × 10 7/16 in. (40.5 × 27.5 × 26.5 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Harry A. Franklin Family Collection



Place Made: Nigeria, Western Africa, Africa


20th century

Object Name

Ceremonial Artifact: Mask

Research Area


On view


The placement of the open-mouthed snake coiled atop this gelede mask resembles a woman’s headscarf. Snakes appear frequently on gelede masks and carry associations with Ogun, the god of iron and war, who is connected to gelede through his hunters who often have a role in crowd control during performances. A closer connection can be drawn between snakes, creatures of the night, and “our mothers,” who get their power from unseen sources.

From the 2023 exhibition Homecoming: Domesticity and Kinship in Global African Art, curated by Alexandra Thomas, Curatorial Research Associate

Exhibition History

Anthropology of Religion, Harrington Gallery Teaching Exhibition, Anthropology 48, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, March 30-May 2, 2004.

Homecoming: Domesticity and Kinship in Global African Art, Harteveldt Family Gallery, Owen Robertson Cheatham Gallery, and Northeast Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth, Hanover, New Hampshire, July 22, 2023–May 25, 2024.


Harry A. Franklin, about 1950; to Valerie Franklin (daughter), 1983; given to present collection, 1990.

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