Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

possible egungun mask
  • unknown Yoruba maker
  • possible egungun mask, early-mid 1900s
  • Where object was made: Nigeria
  • wood, pigment, carving
  • Object Height/Width/Depth: 36.5 x 25 x 23 cm measurements taken "as is"
    Object Height/Width/Depth: 14 3/8 x 9 13/16 x 9 1/16 in measurements taken "as is"
  • Gift of Mr. and Mrs. H. Kenneth Palmer
  • Not on display
  • 2007.2899

The compressed human face has a large forehead, occupied by a four-legged mammal and a snake wrapping around the top of the mask. The piece is black, the whole surface was charred. The mask eyes have small round holes in the center and there is no chin. The four-legged mammal has small ears, a long head and snout, and the tail intersects with the snake. The snake has diamonds on its back and curls around the mask twice, creating a cage-like structure with two vertical figure-8's that emerge from the top of the human head.

There are six pieces broken off the mask.