Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

vabo mask
  • unknown Mumuye maker
  • vabo mask, late 1800s
  • Where object was made: Adamawa, Nigeria
  • wood, raffia, pigment, carving, braiding
  • Object Height/Width/Depth: 165 x 57 x 42 cm
    Object Height/Width/Depth: 64 15/16 x 22 7/16 x 16 1/2 in
  • Gift of Mr. and Mrs. H. Kenneth Palmer
  • Not on display
  • 2007.3170
Label Text

The stylized animal head has a very long "mane" of raffia. The head has two forward pointing horns. The face has a vertical ridge in the middle, possibly the nose, with a circle carved on either side. The face and right horn are red, except for the ridge of the nose and the eye circles. The left horn is black. There is a long snout/mouth, the top half of which is wrapped with wrapped raffia, colored red. The bottom of the is left undecorated.

There are short raffia fibers at the hairline, separated from the long raffia by braided strips. There is one long braid of raffia at either side of the face. The braids have been rubbed with red pigment.