Naked Gelede

Year: 1998
Materials: Steel and chicken wire
Housed: Sold

Gelede is a masquerade from the Yoruba region of Nigeria.

Being another female masquerade Gelede was an interesting challenge. I felt I had to research it as it was another male art form celebrating women, whilst at the same time constructing satirical plays about life.

Naked Gelede has a chest plate that has exaggerated, drooping breasts and stands in a pose as if to show them off. I was thrilled to find that some Gelede breasts plates have sagging breasts because in the West there is so much pressure to keep breasts erect and full.

Gelede has a bodice to extend its posterior. African women do have bottoms that protrude and this observation is used in many different ways in the art of masquerading.

Gelede is half dressed. By only showing the frame work of its component parts it helps to reveal the masquerading feature of dressing up to be like women.

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