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West African Yoruba Artifacts

The Yoruba are one of the largest African ethnic groups south of the Sahara Desert. They are, in fact, not a single group, but rather a collection of diverse people bound together by a common language, history, and culture. Within Nigeria, the Yoruba dominate the western part of the country.

Yoruba beadwork is considered to be among the most intricate and complex of the world. For the Yoruba people, beads are not only used to decorate ceremonial items such as headpieces, necklaces, drum aprons and sheaths, but also used for spiritual purposes by priests and diviners.