Mask

Mask

c. 1930s

Wood and pigment

Overall: 56.5 cm (22 1/4 in.)

Gift of Katherine C. White 1973.222

Description

Masks represent the incarnate dead among the Igbo. They perform at new year, harvest festivals, and funerals, where they serve to escort the spirit to the realm of the ancestors. This example unites the themes of feminine beauty and male strength into one powerful image. The white face, thin nose, small mouth, and delicate facial tattoos, epitomize the beauty of a young maiden. The two pairs of enormous horns are primary symbols of masculine courage.

See also
Collection: 
African Art
Department: 
African Art
Type of artwork: 
Sculpture

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