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Bruce Frank Primitive Art
New York City, NY
+1 917 733 9589

Mask, elu

Ogoni, Nigeria
19th c.

Provenance: Gallery L’accrosonge, France. Barry Hect, Wash. DC acquired from above in 1986

Elu masks are attached to cone-shaped caps made of fiber and cloth, covering the heads of the dancers. Once worn by a young man in the Ogoni men’s secret society known as Ekpo, this mask would have been used in annual festivals or at the funerals of Ekpo society members, often juxtaposed with masquerades representing beautiful and beneficent forces. This particular mask is a very fine and unusual double-faced example. It exhibits great age and use, with a deeply patinated and encrusted surface from prolonged use and storage. We’ve also reproduced an old black and white photograph of the mask provided by Barry Hecht. The photograph was taken in the 1970’s by an unknown photographer.

Elu mask photographed on the wall of the Hecht Home.

Image taken in the 1970’s by unknown photographer, courtesy of Barry Hecht.

Mask, elu

Ogoni, Nigeria
19th c.

Provenance: Gallery L’accrosonge, France. Barry Hect, Wash. DC acquired from above in 1986

 Elu masks are attached to cone-shaped caps made of fiber and cloth, covering the heads of the dancers. Once worn by a young man in the Ogoni men’s secret society known as Ekpo, this mask would have been used in annual festivals or at the funerals of Ekpo society members, often juxtaposed with masquerades representing beautiful and beneficent forces. This particular mask is a very fine and unusual double-faced example. It exhibits great age and use, with a deeply patinated and encrusted surface from prolonged use and storage. We’ve also reproduced an old black and white photograph of the mask provided by Barry Hecht. The photograph was taken in the 1970’s by an unknown photographer.

Elu mask photographed on the wall of the Hecht Home.

Image taken in the 1970’s by unknown photographer, courtesy of Barry Hecht.

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