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Epa Headdress

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unknown Ekiti
Yoruba Primary

Epa Headdress

19th century - 20th century
Carved and painted wood with metal and pigment

39 1/4 in. (99.7 cm)

Bryn Mawr College
Accession Number: 99.3.90
Other Number(s): 55 (132) (Neufeld Collection Number)
132 (Sotheby's Lot Number)
Geography: Africa, Nigeria, Osi-Ilorin
Classification: Ceremonial and Performance Artifacts; Masks
Culture/Nationality: Ekiti, Osi-Ilorin, Yoruba, Nigerian, West African, African
Collection: Neufeld Collection

Keywords Click a term to view the records with the same keyword
This object has the following keywords:
  • African - Refers to the cultures of the continent of Africa, which is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea.
  • carvings - Refers to works executed by cutting a figure or design out of a solid material such as stone or wood. It typically refers to works that are relatively small in size, are part of a larger work, or are not considered art. For large and medium-sized three-dimensional works of art, use the broader term "sculpture" or another appropriate term.
  • Epa - Festival of dancing and masquerades held every two years in March by the Yoruba people of West Africa to promote the fertility and well-being of the community, and to honor important people and events in community history.
  • masks - Refers to coverings for all or part of the face, usually with openings for the eyes and sometimes the mouth. They are worn to hide or alter the identity of the wearer or for protection. Masks as cultural objects have been used throughout the world in all periods since the Stone Age. Masks are extremely varied in appearance, function, and fundamental meaning. They may be associated with ceremonies that have religious and social significance or are concerned with funerary customs, fertility rites, or curing sickness. They may be used on festive occasions or to portray characters in a dramatic performance and in re-enactments of mythological events. They may be used for warfare and as protective devices in certain sports. They are also employed as architectural ornaments.
  • Nigerian
  • painting - The art and practice of applying pigments suspended in water, oil, egg yolk, molten wax, or other liquid to a surface to create an expressive or communicative image. Paint is usually, but not always, applied with a brush. For the application of paint primarily to protect a surface or add a general color, use "painting (coating)."
  • ritual objects - Objects used for a particular ritual activity, often as part of a ceremony.
  • West African - Styles and cultures from the region comprising the westernmost area of the African continent, defined by the United Nations as including the modern nations of Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.
  • wood - The principal tissue of trees and other plants that provides both strength and a means of conducting nutrients. Wood is one of the most versatile materials known.
  • Yoruba

Additional Images Click an image to view a larger version
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Exhibition List
This object was included in the following exhibitions:
  • Akala: Kenyan Tread Art Kirsten Hawkins , Jan 1, 2005 – Jun 1, 2005

  • Owner Name: Mace Neufeld and Helen Katz Neufeld, Class of 1953
    Role: Donor
    Place: Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, US
    Ownership End Date: 12/17/1997

Bibliography List
The following Bibliography exist for this object:
  • Important Tribal Art Sotheby's . New York, NY, 1989
    Figure Number: 132
  • "African Heritage Document and Research Center." (Accessed June 11, 2020): Record No.: 0110125.

Comparanda List
The following Comparanda exist for this object:
  • "The Met Online Collections Database." The Met Collection. (Accessed April 9, 2020): The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Accession No.: 1981.416.
  • Marsha Vander Heyden, "The Epa Mask and Ceremony." African Arts 10, no. 2 (January, 1977): 14-21, 91.
  • African and Oceanic Art (Brussels, Belgium: Lempertz, April 9, 2019), Figure Number: 345.

Related Bibliography List
The following Related Bibliography exist for this object:
  • Marsha Vander Heyden, "The Epa Mask and Ceremony." African Arts 10, no. 2 (January, 1977): 14-21, 91.

Portfolio List Click a portfolio name to view all the objects in that portfolio
This object is a member of the following portfolios:

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<ref name=BMC>cite web |url= |title=Epa Headdress |author=Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections |accessdate=6/5/2023 |publisher=Bryn Mawr College</ref>

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