Beaded Coronet (Orikogbofo)

Object Name: 
Beaded Coronet (Orikogbofo)

Notice of Upcoming Content and Access Change

The Museum is working on the future of our online collections access. A new version will be available later in 2023. During this transition period, the current version of the Collections Browser may have reduced functionality and data may be not be updated. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. For any questions or concerns, please contact us.

What is AAT?

The Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT) (r) is a structured vocabulary for generic concepts related to art and architecture. It was developed by The Getty Research Institute to help research institutions become consistent in the terminology they use.Learn More

Object Name: 
Beaded Coronet (Orikogbofo)
Place Made: 
Accession Number: 
Overall H: 15.2 cm, Diam (max): 18.8 cm
On Display
Web Description: 
The Yoruba people of southwestern Nigeria have developed a highly sophisticated and extravagant style of beadwork. Their lineage is linked to the city-state of Ile-Ife in Nigeria, which was an important center of trade from the 11th to 15th centuries, with a tradition of highly skilled artists. There, beads were made in stone, terra cotta, and metal, but used only by the elite, and red jasper beads were imported into the city. European glass seed beads began to enter Nigeria in great numbers at the end of the 18th century. The Yoruba quickly developed a grand style of beadwork that utilized the tiny, brilliantly colored beads. Beadwork was employed almost entirely to denote and to celebrate the power of the oba (king), orisha (divine spirits), and spiritual ancestors. Beadwork is found on much of the king’s regalia, from the impressive adenla (conical crown) to footstools and fly whisks. The installation of a new ruler includes the consecration of the elaborate beaded crown, imbuing it with the power and sacredness of the king. The crown also contains protective elements or “medicines” on the interior to give it an apotropaic quality. Following his installation, the king must never have his head uncovered, for fear this would leave him susceptible to curses or other injuries. The beaded coronet was developed as a nonritual head covering that the king could wear outside the palace. It was less ornate than the crown but still highly decorative, and protective components were sewn inside it. The style was often influenced by European cultures and politics, as can be seen in the coronets that imitate English royal crowns (e.g., 96.3.8) or the wigs worn by English lawyers. This example of a beaded coronet incorporates both English influences and traditional Yoruba symbols. The crown surmounted by a cross is an emblem of the English monarchy, but the birds in flight are traditional spiritual references and are always seen on the larger, official crown. Such coronets, which exhibit great skill and imaginative designs, are truly unique forms of wearable art.
Africa, Source
Primary Description: 
Beaded Coronet (Orikogbofo). Opaque scarlet red and opaque burgundy red glass beads, natural fibers; woven, sewn, embroidered, flame-worked, pulled, cut, polished.
Past | Present: Expanding the Stories of Glass
Corning Museum of Glass 2022-05-15 through 2023-01-08
Past | Present: Expanding the Stories of Glass is an exhibition of glass objects with rich stories presented in ways that allow visitors to share their perspectives on what they are seeing as they tour the exhibition. The exhibition explores how objects can reveal stories about people across time and place, providing connections to the past, meaning in the present, and even ways to consider the future. More than 10 distinct vignettes will investigate how the Museum can broaden voices and narrative in our galleries. Generally, labels that accompany objects in museum galleries are written by museum curators and educators—and often focus on just one of an almost infinite number of possible stories and meanings. In this exhibition, objects—either alone or as a group—and their stories provide an entry point for further conversation.  Exhibition visitors will be introduced to the idea that the stories objects tell are always evolving. In fact, it is happening around them in the exhibition space. Visitors will be able to share their thoughts and add their ideas to the exhibition.
Corning Museum of Glass 2013-05-18 through 2014-01-05
For 30,000 years, mankind has crafted beads from natural materials. With the discovery of glassmaking in the second millennium B.C., glass began to be used for this same purpose. Glass beads are universal. They have been produced throughout the 35 centuries of glass manufacturing, and by nearly every culture in the world. The glass beads and beaded objects on view in this exhibition are arranged thematically, comparing the manner in which diverse cultures have utilized beads, frequently for the same purposes, but sometimes for unique reasons. These themes explore how glass beads adorn the body and our possessions; how they convey messages about power and wealth, and identify the stages of human life; how they serve ritual purposes, as well as decorate clothing and objects used in rituals; and how they have been employed across the centuries as a means of exchange, both commercial and cultural. Through the centuries, beads have been made using a variety of processes. Understanding how beads were made has allowed scholars to follow the transmission of beads and beadmaking techniques across the globe. Across time and around the world, glass beads have become a common element of mankind. Through their manufacture and function, they are one of the strings that bind humanity together. “Life on a String” celebrates this common bond while also revealing the distinctiveness of different societies through their use of glass beads to celebrate their unique cultural heritage.