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Bruce Frank Primitive Art
New York City, NY
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Ejagham Helmet Mask

Yoruba, Nigeria
19th-Early 20th Century

Provenance: Dr. Edmund Muller collection, (1898-1976) Beromunster, Switzerland, Muller accession number 148. Sotheby’s New York, November 22, 1998, lot 76. Private collection, New York

Egungun headdress are used during masquerade ceremonies held in reverence of the dead. The melding of animal and human form is used to express the precarious state of the ancestor’s presence between the heavens and earth.  This particular example is of hollowed spherical form with a human face combined with zoomorphic elements.  Carved on its forehead are nine small medicine gourds.  Surmounted on its head are carved ridged antelope horns and a figure of a monkey clasping at the horns.  The patina is deeply encrusted, with multiple layers of applied natural pigments.   This mask is in good condition, with extensive signs of use and wear.

Ejagham Helmet Mask

Yoruba, Nigeria
19th-Early 20th Century

Provenance: Dr. Edmund Muller collection, (1898-1976) Beromunster, Switzerland, Muller accession number 148. Sotheby’s New York, November 22, 1998, lot 76. Private collection, New York

Egungun headdress are used during masquerade ceremonies held in reverence of the dead. The melding of animal and human form is used to express the precarious state of the ancestor’s presence between the heavens and earth.  This particular example is of hollowed spherical form with a human face combined with zoomorphic elements.  Carved on its forehead are nine small medicine gourds.  Surmounted on its head are carved ridged antelope horns and a figure of a monkey clasping at the horns.  The patina is deeply encrusted, with multiple layers of applied natural pigments.   This mask is in good condition, with extensive signs of use and wear.

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