Africa Direct
Africa Direct

Yoruba Mask with Raffia Beard Nigeria African Art

AvailabilityIn stock
Special Price $92.00 Regular Price $150.00
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Title Yoruba Mask with Raffia Beard Nigeria African Art
Type of Object Mask
Country of Origin Nigeria
People Yoruba
Materials Wood,  pigment
Approximate Age 20th century
Dimensions 16 inches H x 10.5 inches W x 9 inches D; 30 inches w/ beard
Overall Condition Fair. Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners.   Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use.  We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings.  Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.
Damage/Repair Cracks and chips

Epa masks are the largest masks danced among the Yoruba/Ekiti people of northen Nigeria.

In fact, they represent some of the largest masks used in Africa, being carved from a single piece of wood that can weigh up to sixty pounds or more. They are worn as a helmet mask covering the dancer’s head completely.Among the Yoruba/Ekiti, the Epa festival celebrates life and abundance and the unity of the village, and honor the families and lineages who own and sponsor the mask and bask in a kind of reflected glory.They celebrate the life of honored elders and reinforce the corporate structure of the community.

Epa masks appear during a heavily symbolic and choreographed performance during which three different large Epa masks appear in sequence.This mask represents JagunJagun or Ogun, both powerful men who display virtues much admired by the Ekiti.

This example of an Epa mask would add its visual authority to any collection.

Recommended Reading:

Drewal , H. J. and J. Pemberton III, with R. Abiodun Yoruba: Nine Centuries of African Art and Thought, (New York, 1989)

Drewal, H. J. and M. Thompson Drewal., Gelede, Art and Female Power among the Yoruba. 1983.

Fagg, W. and J. Pemberton III: Yoruba Sculpture of West Africa, (New York, 1982)

Lawal, B.: The Gelede Spectacle. Art, Gender, and Social Harmony in an African Culture. (Seattle, London 1996)

Mato, Daniel, Chelsea Cooksey, Yoruba: Art of Life. The Bennett-Luther Collection, Denver 2004

Witte, H.: A Closer Look; Local Styles in the Yoruba Art Collection of the Afrika Museum, Berg en Dal. 2004.