Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

mmuo mask
  • unknown Onitsha maker
  • mmuo mask, early-mid 1900s
  • Where object was made: Nigeria
  • wood, clay, pigment, carving
  • Object Height/Width/Depth: 33.5 x 19.5 x 16 cm
    Object Height/Width/Depth: 13 3/16 x 7 5/8 x 6 1/4 in
  • Gift of Mr. and Mrs. H. Kenneth Palmer
  • Not on display
  • 2007.2966

The mask depicts a white face with a mohawk-like hairstyle. The head is covered with black, with vertical grooves oriented toward the "mohawk," which also has vertical grooves and is topped with small knobs. The hairline parts from the center forehead and the groove follows the hairline to the ears.

The eyes are slitted cutouts with black outlines under black eyebrows. There is a black line down the ridge of the nose and along the bottom. The philtrum is black, as are the lips which are slightly opened to reveal white teeth and a red interior.

There are widely spaced holes around the perimeter.