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    Artist Name:

    Yoruba Artist, Oyo, Nigeria


    Egungun Masquerade Costume


    Eighteenth–twentieth century (Exterior velvet panels: 1750–1850)


    Cloth, cowrie shells, and wood


    86 x 50 inches

    Credit Line:

    Purchase through prior acquisitions

    Accession Number:


    On View - Wieland Pavilion, Lower Level, Gallery 100
    In Yoruba communities ancestors are described as “beings from beyond,” aptly personified by otherworldly Egúngún masks such as this one. These masks are worn at annual street festivals held in honor of the ancestors of a city’s founding lineages. This masquerade’s outer layers are made from imported velvets and factory manufactured cloth, while the inner layers are made of local handspun, hand-woven, indigo dyed cotton cloth. An abundance of cowrie shells adorn the front of the mask and cascade in multiple strands both above and below. It is capped by a carved wooden bird’s head, which projects from a circular platform densely embedded with additional shells.

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    Please Note: Not all permanent collection works are currently on view. Please contact the Museum concerning the on view status for a specific work if required.

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