The towering Chameleon gate protects the entrance to the Sacred Pottery Field where Iya Moopo, the Goddess of Women resides. The chameleon is celebrated in Yoruba creation mythology as the first creature to step onto the earth with its head and tail holding up the new moon and sun. The gate is designed so visitors must “penetrate” this primordial creature to arrive on the sacred ground on the other side.
On either side of the gate are giant sculpted flowers that in Susanne’s words “the forms on both sides represent, flowerlike, the springtime of existence on Earth, beaten into self-expression under the impact of Chameleon’s descent”. Swirling waters, masquerades and other vibrant decoration also feature on the highly decorated walls.
Saka, now late, played an important role in this restoration, as did Adeyemi Oseni and Adebisi Nurudeen. The Republic of Austria generously funded this work.