Odelay Masquerade Costume

This is the complete costume worn by the Odelay debul, or devil. The Odelay societies are thought to have originated among the 19th century liberated Africans rescued from slave ships by the Royal Navy and brought to Freetown, many of whom had Yoruba roots. The Odelay Debul is known for coming out on public holidays, such as Easter Monday and independence day. This debul has a ram's head and an elaborate panel - called the ampa - on the back, consisting of snail shells, cowrie shells, red cloth, faux animal skin, fishing net, wooden combs and spoons, mirrors, gourds, porcupine needles and raffia. This is one a series of masquerade costumes commissioned by the British Museum's Africa Programme and gifted to the National Museum of Sierra Leone in April 2011 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Sierra Leone's independence. It was made by Claudius John Fredick of Berwick Street, Freetown.

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Further Information

  • Type: Masks, headdresses, Costume, dress
  • Object: Odelay Masquerade Costume
  • Materials: Wood, Textile, Vegetable, organic fibre, Shell, Metal
  • Culture Group: Krio
  • Dimensions: Unknown
  • Production Date: Pre 2011
  • Associated Places: Freetown (Place made)
  • Associated People: Claudius John Fredick (Creator)
  • Museum: Sierra Leone National Museum
  • Accession Number: SLNM.2011.003.06

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