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Janus-Faced Water Spirit Headdress

African Art

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Janus-Faced Water Spirit Headdress

Artwork Details

Artist/Maker

Yoruba Artist
Nigeria

Date

Twentieth century

Medium

Wood and pigment

Accession #

2007.278

Dimensions

17 1/2 x 14 x 14 inches

Location

On View - Stent Family Wing, Skyway, Gallery 403

Description

This headdress is an example of the innovation, skill, and imagination of Yoruba artists of southwestern Nigeria. The large facial features are typical of Yoruba sculpture, with bulging eyes and triangular nose in high relief. However, the flat, disk-like face is unusual, contrasting with the typical rounded, fleshy forms of Yoruba sculpture. Masks such as this one perform in masquerade festivals in southern Yoruba and neighboring Ijebu communities to honor water spirits.

Credit

Gift of Bernard and Patricia Wagner

Image Copyright

Photographer: Richard Goodbody For Yoruba catalogue


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