Oct 30, 2009
Oct 30, 2009
Oct 30, 2009

Headdress (Ẹpa)

Headdress (Ẹpa)

c. 1925

Moshood Olusomo Bámigbóyè

(Nigerian, c. 1885–1975)

Wood and paint

Overall: 134 x 57.9 x 62.5 cm (52 3/4 x 22 13/16 x 24 5/8 in.)

John L. Severance Fund and Gift of Mary Price 1991.165


Did you know?

Performing this Ẹpa mask was an impressive feat of strength; it weighs nearly 45 pounds!


Carved from a single block of wood, this stunning example of Bámigbóyè's complex style was carved when the artist was in his late twenties while living in Omu in his native Ilorin Province. Ẹpa masks were performed during an annual or biannual week-long festival. This mask appeared at the festival’s climactic conclusion. The elaborate superstructure revolves around the figure of a richly adorned ruler on horseback carrying a sword and wearing protective amulets on his arms. Three tiers of surrounding small-scale attendants—including messengers, musicians, warriors, and praise singers—represent a scene of court life in miniature, and testify to the warrior-king’s power and prestige.

See also
African Art
African Art
Type of artwork: 

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.