The festival, Star of Cultural Integration, organized  by the artistic and cultural promotion structure “Golden international promotion” of Cotonou, Benin brought Gelede to the stage in 2011, and it looked amazing!


Video 2 below:




More on the Gelede tradition

Female Power

“…Yoruba female is not as powerless politically as the male dominance of kingship would suggest. The very focus of Ogboni and Gelede on Mother Nature is a clear indication that male dominance of the political arena is not absolute or self sustaining. Among the Yoruba, power ( agbara) has dual aspects…….. The men represent the visible or physical aspect of power ; the women, its generative or mystical aspect. The latter is the most awesome of all powers, objectified in the Yoruba concept of aje…” – Babatunde Lawal  The Gelede Spectacle: Art , Gender and Social Harmony in an African Culture

“The Gelede festival takes place in the market area, a space of female activity ”

“The dance is carried out by male dancers dressed in costumes honouring the maternal principle”

“…images of snakes on the masks underscore the goal of the dance, which is to mollify – literally, “cool down” – the mothers of the community who might otherwise internalize enough heat to direct powerful witchcraft against the men” – Understanding the Religions of the World : an introduction by Willoughby Deming



Video Credit : Jelili Atiku



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