Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

epa mask
  • unknown Ekiti or Igbomina maker
  • epa mask, circa 1962
  • Where object was made: present-day southwestern Nigeria
  • Iroko? wood, pigment, carving
  • Object Height/Diameter: 118 x 29 cm
    Object Height/Diameter: 46 7/16 x 11 3/8 in
  • Gift of Mr. and Mrs. H. Kenneth Palmer
  • Not on display
  • 2007.3171
Label Text

The helmet style mask has an elaborately carved superstructure, consisting of two tiers. The basic coloration ranges from red to orange with black detail.

The primary mask has two faces, one on either side. Both have large eyes with black pupils, a broad nose and an open mouth with a single tooth in the center.

The bottom tier is a circular orange base with black dots on the side. It has five standing figures, each holding an object. One figure is wearing a solid orange tunic with a black stripe on the left side and pants. His hat leans to the left. He is holding a cylinder. A second figure is wearing an orange tunic with dots and pants. He is wearing a cylindrical hat. He has a drum under his left arm and the drumstick in his right hand. A third figure is wearing an orange tunic with dots and black pants. He is holding an oblong black object, possibly a rifle or instrument, with his left hand and an orange object or handle with his right. A fourth figure is wearing a tunic with a wide black stripe. He is playing a drum strapped to his chest. The fifth figure is wearing a black tunic and pants. He is holding a gourd or gong in his left hand and a stick in his right.

The top tier has an equestrian warrior. He is wearing a tunic with a wide orange stripe down the center. The seated figure to his left helps support the staff in his left hand. There are two female figures, facing each other, on his right. One is seated on a stool and the other is kneeling.