Face Mask (Mfon Ekpo)

16758721-1994_004_213_Cpa_ARC.tif

Title

Face Mask (Mfon Ekpo)

Keywords

Effigy, mask, sculpture

Date

20th Century

Context

West Africa, Nigeria, Cross River
Ibibio, Annang

Medium/Dimensions

Wood, fiber, pigment
9 15/16 x 7 3/16 x 3 1/4 in. (25.2 x 18.3 x 8.3 cm)

Object Number

1994.004.213

Description

This mask represents an idealized woman. Danced only by initiated men, its performances express concepts about ideal womanhood, physical beauty, and moral human behavior. The Mfon ekpo mask represents a physically beautiful and morally pure young woman, signified here by the oval face, lustrous skin, and tripartite braided hairstyle. Meaning "beautiful soul", Mfon ekpo is danced by members of the Ekpo society. She embodies the benevolent, feminine character of the ancestors and performs in opposition to a malevolent, masculine character, Idiok ekpo, who wears a darkened mask with distorted facial features. Together, they represent the duality of the human spirit.

Credit Line

Ex coll. William S. Arnett

Exhibits/Publications

MCCM Permanent Collection Reinstallation, 2008 - December 1, 2014
Marcilene K. Wittmer and William Arnett, Three Rivers of Nigeria: Art of the Lower Niger, Cross, and Benue from the Collection of William and Robert Arnett (Atlanta: High Museum of Art, 1978), 65, number 147.

Rights

© Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University. Photo by Bruce M. White, 2012.
This image is provided by the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University, who retains all rights in it. This image is made available for limited non-commercial, educational, and personal use only, or for fair use as defined by United States law. For all other uses, please contact the Michael C. Carlos Museum Office of Collections Services at +1(404) 727-4282 or mccm.collections.services@emory.edu. Users must cite the author and source of the image as they would material from any printed work, but not in any way that implies endorsement of the user or the user's use of the image. Users may not remove any copyright, trademark, or other proprietary notices, including without limitation attribution information, credits, and copyright notices that have been placed on or near the image by the Museum. The Museum assumes no responsibility for royalties or fees claimed by the artist or third parties. The User agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Emory University, its Michael C. Carlos Museum, its agents, employees, faculty members, students and trustees from and against any and all claims, losses, actions, damages, expenses, and all other liabilities, including but not limited to attorney’s fees, directly or indirectly arising out of or resulting from its use of photographic images for which permission is granted hereunder.

On View

No

Citation

“Face Mask (Mfon Ekpo),” Michael C. Carlos Museum Collections Online, accessed October 17, 2017, http://carlos.digitalscholarship.emory.edu/items/show/7149.

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