back bounded-next cafe calendar-large calendar cart close coat-check collapse donate download elevators expand explore filter grid-view hamburger heart hours join link list-view location mail more next nursing-room phone print programs ramp restrooms right-arrow search share shop thumbs-down thumbs-up tickets up toilet heart-filled zoom Skip to Content

Headdress

African Art

Search and Share Tools

Headdress

Artwork Details

Artist/Maker

Idoma Artist
Nigeria

Date

Late nineteenth–early twentieth century

Medium

Wood and paint

Accession #

1984.317

Dimensions

12 inches

Location

On View - Stent Family Wing, Skyway, Gallery 403

Description

This headdress is of a type called ungulali, a word that means “flute,” an important instrument for the orchestra that accompanied the dance of this masquerade. Such headdresses are distinguished by their multi-faced forms and use of pigment. The whitened, heart-shaped faces of this crest mask emerge in three views. Facial features, such as eyebrows, lips, and nostrils, are emphasized with dark pigment. The projecting cap or coiffure is embellished with wooden buttons (some are missing from this example) that are attached to the mask by wooden studs. Ungulali masks appear at funerals and harvest ceremonials and are used for entertainment and at other public gatherings. This mask is related to a set of stylistically similar headdresses, carved by the same artist or from the same workshop, all with multiple faces, sometimes surmounted by sculpted birds that are carved separately and attached.

Credit

Fred and Rita Richman Collection