Welcome To The Premier Place For Serious Collectors of Fine Authentic African Tribal Art. Over 10 Years Online Serving Thousands of Satisfied Customers. Offering the Finest Quality Sub-Saharan African Art. Exceptional African Nigeria Yoruba Egungun Headdress Mask.Inches: Height: 16.5 Inches Centimeters: Height: 42 Centimeters Measurement Mask Only Material: Wood, Pigment (Foam under mask cushion dancers head) Estimated Age: Early 20th Century Condition: Good Remarks: Highly stylized mask traditional Yoruba Egungun features 5 heads polychrome finished aged surface. Documentation of Authenticity / Any Available Provenance Will Be Included With This Piece. CONDITION Wood deterioration, chips and scrapes, some chips larger, worn areas, age cracks, overall condition good. Thank you and please view my other items.
BACKGROUND The Yoruba people live mainly in the southwest of Nigeria and the south of Benin. Moreover Yoruba traditions live on as far afield as Brazil, Cuba, Haiti and the Americas in the descendants of Yoruba slaves. The term "Yoruba" is said to derive from "Yarbanci, " a nickname given by the Hausa or the Fulani to the inhabitants of the Oyo Kingdom.This name was in turn introduced by missionaries from the middle of the nineteenth century, who were the first to study the Yoruba language. Prior to that, the Yoruba-speaking peoples referred to itself by the names of their different sub-groups. Earlier the Yoruba organized themselves into a large number of city-states, traditionally administered by kings (oba), who held political as well as religious power Among the various autonomous city-states, the leading place was primarily occupied by Ileff and Old Oyo. Among the Ekiti Yoruba, the Epa festival celebrates life and abundance and the unity of the village and honor the familes and lineages who own and sponsor the mask and bask in a kind of reflected glory. They celebrate the life of honored elders and reinforce the corporate structure of the community. Epa masks appear during a heavily symbolic and choreographed performance during which three different large Epa masks appear in sequence. These large masks have extraordinary presence conveying some of their power to visually project abstract principles and sculptural authority.
In Egba and Egbado area, as well as many parts of Yorubaland, Odun Egungun festivals are held in communities to commemorate the ancestors. Egungun masks are performed during these annual or biennial ceremonies as well as during specific funeral rites throughout the year. The masquerade is a multifaceted ceremony which includes the making of offerings as well as the honoring of ancestors for past and future aid.
Egungun performances organized for funerary purposes mark the death of important individuals. In this context, the masks reflect a creative response to death as a time of crisis involving mourning and loss.Elaborate performances serve to commemorate the dead through the remembrance of their past life while simultaneously reinforcing the relationship between the living and the recently deceased ancestor. Painter Fred Uhlman words - Most of the artists I admired, Picasso, Modigliani, Deraini, to mention only a few, had collected African art and had been profoundly influenced by it. Shortly afterwards I bought the Baule Fetish and the Baule bobbin which are still two of the finest pieces in my collection. It is easy to see why I bought them and why from that moment I have never stopped collecting. The head of the bobbin or heddle - pulley which is after all only a functional object for the purpose of weaving seemed to me then and today as beautiful as a Greek goddess. The fetish moved me as deeply as the bobbin by its silent tragic dignity and its air of profound meditation. GUARANTEE AUTHENTICITY AND CONDITION OF ITEMS ARE GUARANTEED TO THEIR DESCRIPTION AND PICTURES. PACKING FRAGILE ART ITEM NEEDS CAREFUL ATTENTION AND WILL NEVER BE FAST, BUT WE DO OUT BEST TO MAKE SURE IT WILL ARRIVE FOR YOU SAFELY. The item "GothamGallery Fine African Tribal Art Nigeria Yoruba Egungun Mask A" is in sale since Friday, March 18, 2011.
This item is in the category "Antiques\Ethnographic\African\Other African Antiques". The seller is "gothamgallery" and is located in Brooklyn, New York. This item can be shipped worldwide.