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Crest mask
Date: 19th-20th century
Medium: Wood, animal skin, basketry, cane, metal
Dimensions: H x W x D: 53.5 x 56 x 56cm (21 1/16 x 22 1/16 x 22 1/16in.)
Credit Line: Gift of Walt Disney World Co., a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company
Geography: Cross River region, Nigeria
Object Number: 2005-6-19
Search Terms:
Male use
female
Janus-faced
Exhibited: Visionary: Viewpoints on Africa's Arts

Sculptors from several groups living in southeastern Nigeria, east of the Cross River and across the border in western Cameroon, produce a distinctive type of mask carved from wood and covered with antelope skin. The tradition probably originated among the Ejagham peoples. Most of the masks portray the human head, often janus or multifaced, with a high degree of naturalism.

Wood head covered with light brown antelope skin with eight curled horns covered in dark antelope skin projecting sideways from the top and sides of the head. The basketry flange is attached to the base of the neck. Ovoid wood pegs inserted to form a hairline.

Visionary: Viewpoints on Africa's Arts, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., November 4, 2017-ongoing



Echoes of Africa, Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, September 2005-August 2007



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



Sculpture of Black Africa: The Paul Tishman Collection, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, October 16, 1968-January 5, 1969; The High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, August 31-November 1, 1970; University of Texas College of Fine Arts, Austin; City Art Museum, St. Louis, August 20-October 17, 1971; Des Moines Art Center; Huntington Galleries, Huntington, WV


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, p. 14, fig. 7.



Owczarek, Nina. 2014. "Skin-Covered Masks from the Cross River Region of Nigeria and Cameroon at the National Museum of African Art: A Technical Study." Journal of the American Institute for Conservation 53 (3), pp. 186, 191, 192, nos. 3, 12, 15 (details).



Sieber, Roy and Arnold Rubin. 1968. Sculpture of Black Africa: The Paul Tishman Collection. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, p. 88, no. 94.



Vogel, Susan (ed). 1981. For Spirits and Kings: African Art from the Paul and Ruth Tishman Collection. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 166-167, no. 98.


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