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: 34.5 x 17 x 14 cm
    Object Height/Width/Depth: 13 9/16 x 6 11/16 x 5 1/2 in
  • Gift of Mr. and Mrs. H. Kenneth Palmer
  • Not on display
  • 2007.2964
Label Text

The mask depicts a human face with a white face and black hairstyle. There is a small black knob at the top of the head. The hair on the head is solid black, and the hair covering the forehead is in black and white stripes mirroring the shape of the eyebrows. There is a raised rectangle at the top of the nose, decorated with an incised grid pattern. The eyes are raised circles, painted black, with triangular cutouts under them. There is a raised black rectangle between each eye and ear. There is a black line down the ridge of the nose and around the bottom. The philtrum and lips are black, open to reveal white teeth.

There are holes around the perimeter.