YORUBA [NIGERIA] Pair of Yoruba beaded footstools A pair of drum-shaped footstools or pouffes, stuffed with straw and decorated throughout with multi-coloured glass beads in the form of a knot and circular shapes on a dark blue ground. En suite with two Yoruba beadwork thrones in the Collection, RCINs 74685-1.2 Embroidering the beading and creating patterns for these footstools is an important spiritual exercise for the Yoruba people. The symbolism of the interlaced motifs denotes many aspects of spiritual life - power, the past, the future and respect for ancestors and descendants. Since the eleventh century, the Yoruba people of West Africa have lived in the south-western area of what is now Nigeria and the Republic of Benin. Beadwork and royalty were closely associated in this culture, with vast quantities of beads considered a source of wealth and status. The wealthiest Yoruba kings employed craftspeople to embroider their clothing and other objects, and these ornately-decorated pieces became an important part of their regalia. Many of the colours and symbols applied in decorative beadwork hold spiritual meanings, and the recurring patterns of triangles and zigzags are designed to create visual tension and movement. Presented to Queen Elizabeth II by the People of Nigeria during her visit, 28 January – 16 February 1956. En suite with two footstools, RCINs 74686.1-2 and two larger thrones, RCINs 74687.1-2. Can you see the similarities with Tinubu’s cap?