Older masquerade mask, EGUNGUN, YORUBA, Nigeria, approx. 1960
The Egungun is important for the Yoruba, because it serves the purpose of reminding them to honour their deceased ancestors, who now live in another world. This mask also serves the function of maintaining relations with ancestors from the past, and making sure they have a long life here on earth, by making sacrifices and doing performances in honour of their deceased ancestors. Everybody in the community takes part in this masquerade, in order to honour their ancestors from the past.
This mask shows some wear, and it has a shrinking crack on the backside. The protruding, semi-abstract horns give the mask its power. The white colour symbolizes contact with the upper world, the world of deceased ancestors, and the red-brown and black symbolize the earthly existence. With mentioned shrinking crack and wear, the statue is in a decent to good condition.
Height: 30 cm
Circumference below: 72 cm
Weight: 1135 grams
Date: approx. 1960
Provenance: ex-Peter Beaujean, ex-gallery Tounkara, Rotterdam