Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

gelede mask
  • Ondo peoples
  • gelede mask, early-mid 1900s
  • Where object was made: East Oyo, Nigeria
  • wood, paint, carving
  • Object Height/Width/Depth: 22 x 27 x 28 cm
    Object Height/Width/Depth: 8 5/8 x 10 5/8 x 11 in
  • Gift of Mr. and Mrs. H. Kenneth Palmer
  • Not on display
  • 2007.2956

The helmet style mask depicts a human head that is shortened, and the facial features are all quite close together, but the ears are widely set. The mask is black but the face has residual grey or silver pigment scattered over it. There is a four-legged animal on top of the head, possibly a monkey. The animal has a rounded head with small ears and red lips, as well as a long body, but no tail. The front legs morph into ridges below and the front legs have faint red and green dots. The monkey stands between two snakes, rearing their heads, each with red mouths and faint red and yellow pigment on the bodies.

The mask is open under the monkey.