The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of February 18, 2024



c. 1920s
Location: not on view

Did You Know?

Joints on this mask's jaw allow it to open and close.


Ibibio viewers understood that this Ekpo mask with a serene face depicts a beautiful, beneficent soul. This one probably honored a young Ibibio maiden who graduated from the "fattening house," an initiation school where she was fed rich foods to strengthen and beautify her. The bead suspended around the neck of the surmounting head is an insignia of graduation. The double-braided coiffure may have been inspired by Victorian fashions observed by the sculptor in magazines or worn by English missionary women.
  • at least 1968–1975
    Katherine C. White
    The Cleveland Museum of Art by Gift
  • CMA 1968: "African Tribal Images: The Katherine White Reswick Collection," cat. no. 159, repr.
    CMA 1976: "Year in Review 1975," CMA Bulletin LXIII (Feb., 1976), p. 66, no. 31, repr.p. 64.
    CMA 1986: Possessors of Power; African Masks and Sculpture, January 28-March 23, 1986; also at The Beachwood Museum, April 2-30, 1986.
  • {{cite web|title=Mask|url=false|author=|year=c. 1920s|access-date=18 February 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

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