(Nigerian, c. 1895-1978)
Wood and paint
Overall: 137.2 cm (54 in.)
John L. Severance Fund and Gift of Mary Price 1991.165
Performing this Epa mask was an impressive feat of strength; it weighs nearly 45 pounds!
Carved from a single block of wood and weighing about 50 pounds, this stunning example of Bamgboye’s complex style was carved when the artist was in his late twenties while living in Omu in his native Ilorin Province. Epa 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.
The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.
Is something not working on this page? Please email email@example.com.
Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.