Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

gelede mask
  • unknown Yoruba maker
  • gelede mask, early-mid 1900s
  • Where object was made: Nigeria
  • wood, paint, carving
  • Object Height/Width/Depth: 22 x 22 x 31.5 cm
    Object Height/Width/Depth: 8 5/8 x 8 5/8 x 12 3/8 in
  • Gift of Mr. and Mrs. H. Kenneth Palmer
  • Not on display
  • 2007.2902

The helmet style mask depicts a human head. The exposed skin is red, and the face is compressed, leaving the remainder of the mask as hair. The face has a large black eyebrow over black eyes, with slits for the wearer. The nose is short but wide and the chin is quite pointed. The hair is a series of braids directed to the top of the head, where they all come together in a knot.