Egungun

11008121-1994_004_501_Apa_ARC.tif

Title

Egungun

Keywords

Mask

Date

late 19th-late 20th Century

Context

Oyo, Nigeria
Yoruba

Medium/Dimensions

Cloth, wood, cowrie shells, fiber, skin, encrustations
21 13/16 in. (55.4 cm)

Object Number

1994.004.501

Description

The Egungun cult was adopted in Oyo from Nupe invaders sometime in the 16th century and became politically powerful through its control by the Oyo Mesi or Council of Chiefs. The cult venerates ancestors and gave rise to a wide array of masquerades that impersonate ancestral spirits. The most important of these are elaborate paneled cloth structures, which may or may not include a carved mask component on top. Here, the cloth cylinder hangs from a circular frame and is composed of indigo-dyed, hand-spun cotton strip weave inset with imported velvet trade cloth. In front, a net panel studded with cowrie shells acts as a concealing screen for the masquerader's face. The small carved head is painted with laundry blue, a popular pigment with Yoruba carvers, and the frame is hung with small bundles of powerful medicines or relics.

Credit Line

Ex coll. William S. Arnett

Exhibits/Publications

Art of Nigeria from the William S. Arnett Collection, Michael C. Carlos Museum, October 15, 1994 - January 2, 1995|
MCCM Permanent Collection Gallery, March 29, 2013 - December 1, 2014
Henry John Drewal, African Artistry: Technique and Aesthetics in Yoruba Sculpture (Atlanta: The High Museum of Art, 1980), 78, number 136.

Rights

© Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University. Photo by Bruce M. White, 2013.
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

“Egungun,” Michael C. Carlos Museum Collections Online, accessed April 19, 2018, http://carlos.digitalscholarship.emory.edu/items/show/7965.

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