Glove puppet | Yayoroba

Glove puppet "Yayoroba: the beautiful woman", Anfang 20. Jahrhundert

About the object

The rod puppet is made of wood and clad in a red cloth robe. Her face has been carved symmetrically and partially fitted with metal. Puppets play an important role in Bamanan mask and puppet theatre in West Africa.
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The rudimentary body made from heavy wood with attached movable arms is covered by a red robe except for the breasts and hands. The head has been carved very carefully. The arrangement of the features of its long ovaloid face is perhaps overly geometric owing to angular, clashing surfaces, symmetry and reductive simplicity. The puppet is a depiction of the ideal woman Yayoroba, who embodies beauty, grace and dignity in one person. The koo ta hairstyle reflects early-20th century fashion. The metal plate represents a tattoo. Rod puppets perform in the ancient Bamanan mask and puppet theatre in connection with initiation and agricultural rituals, today also on other religious and secular occasions. They represent different characters, social roles or real personalities.

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