Photos The Daguno mask instructs the crowd on the importance of respecting the taboo of pregnancy out of wedlock. A major objective of the ritual is to eliminate the negative aspects of female power and replace them with the benevolent ones of fecundity, maternity and well-being.Yoruba Gelede masks feature carved puppets which remind the audience of the dangers of ignoring social position and natural order in the world.Through comedic antics, the “pot breasted” Daguno mask warns young women not to become pregant before marriage.The Awo mask, with two small figures standing on its head, portrays two brothers who break social taboos by fighting with one another. Warning of the perils of family feuds, the masks sparring figures are operated from below by the dancer pulling on strings.Two identical Lossi masks move in perfect synchronicity, illustrating the belief that twins share the same soul.Profile of a Lossi mask, a mask that represents the shared souls of twins. The highest incidence of twin births in the world occurs in this region of West Africa.The Daguno mask, with its pregnant belly, warns young girls of the danger of uncontrollable passion in romantic relationships.During the Gelede masquerade festival, two masked dancers kiss. Beneath the costume of the dancer on the left is a carved pregnant belly which serves as a reminder to young girls that pregnancy out of wedlock is taboo.Awo masks illustrate well-known cautionary Yoruba proverbs. Among the subjects: a chimpanzee urinates on an insensitive hunter (strings inside the mask release a stream of water); a barbaric ape mocks someone with no social skills; two brothers, sitting side by side, emphasis the importance of harmonious family relationships.Oro Efe masks feature large carved headpieces representing various creatures of the bush.As the Oro Efe masks come out of the forest, they sing traditional prayer songs that invoke divine blessings on the Gelede festival and tell of the hierarchical order of the world. The songs remind people through allegory and riddle to pay respect to those who are powerful, particularly the female elders in Yoruba society.Oro Efe masks dance for the Yoruba to remind them to respect female elders and honor the mother deity. Carved by members of the secret Gelede society, their decorative facial scars and almond eyes are typical of Yoruba women, and their crescent brow symbolizes the moon.The figures represented on Yoruba Gelede masks represent various bush creatures that form an intricate natural hierarchy of power and social position. They remind people through allegory and riddle to respect those who are powerful, in particular, strong female elders.This Yoruba Gelede mask depicts two mongooses, symbolic of the power of the natural world.Yoruba Gelede masks feature large carved headpieces depicting powerful creatures of the bush. The mongoose represents the power of natural law; the python symbolizes wisdom and tolerance; the boa stands for abundance and prosperity. Serpent masks are worn to bring rain or healing to the community.