Collections | National Museum of African Art

Top Menu

Switch View
 Copyright Info 

Additional media


Crest mask
Date: Late 19th-early 20th century
Medium: Wood, paint, lead, iron nails
Dimensions: H x W x D: 39 x 20.3 x 26.5 cm (15 3/8 x 8 x 10 7/16 in.)
Credit Line: Gift of Walt Disney World Co., a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company
Geography: Cross River region, Nigeria
Object Number: 2005-6-90
Search Terms:
Male use
Funerary
Object is not currently on exhibit

The degree of realism and expressiveness captured on this paint-covered crest mask links it stylistically to the skin-covered masks found among several Cross River groups. Like them, it probably was used by a traditional warrior or age-grade association to commemorate a deceased member at funeral ceremonies held several months after his death. The dramatically curving horns probably represent a hairstyle and the conical objects at their base may be hair ornaments.

Wood and paint human head crest mask with two very large spiral horns curving upwards and prominent cone-shaped projections from the forehead. The hair is finely carved, the black face is painted red with weathering, with black striped bands at the temples. The mouth hangs open and lead teeth show. The horns are spiral painted with black and white, and the cone- projections are painted red and black. The base is a neck with small holes along the entire base.

Michael Oliver, New York, -- to 1979


African Mosaic: Selections from the Permanent Collection, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., November 19, 2013–August 12, 2019 (installed July 16, 2014)



The Walt Disney-Tishman African Art Collection Highlights, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., May 21, 2009-June 4, 2014



African Vision: The Walt Disney-Tishman African Art Collection, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., February 15, 2007-March 31, 2009



First Look: The Walt Disney-Tishman Collection of African Art, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., May 17-December 3, 2006



For Spirits and Kings: African Art from the Paul and Ruth Tishman Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1981


Kreamer, Christine Mullen, Bryna Freyer and Andrea Nicolls. 2007. African Vision: The Walt Disney-Tishman African Art Collection. Washington, D.C.: National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, pp. 216-217, cover, no. 77.



Robbins, Warren M. and Nancy I. Nooter. 1989. African Art in American Collections. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, p. 285, no. 742.



Vogel, Susan (ed). 1981. For Spirits and Kings: African Art from the Paul and Ruth Tishman Collection. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 168-169, no. 100.


My Collections

Login



OR

Register

* required field.








Create New Collection

Public?

Edit Collection

Public?