EGUNGUN HEADDRESS MASK
ANTIQUE WOODEN EGUNGUN HEADDRESS YORUBA MASK (NIGERIA)
Egungun (lit.“power concealed”) is the spiritual embodiment of the Yoruba groups’ ancestors, which are honoured in masquerade ceremonies (Odun Egungun) at which masks such as this are worn. The performers enter trances and are possessed by ancestral spirits, which motivates their dancing. There are numerous variants of Egungun masks, all of which generally refer to the Yoruba people but also to subdivisions of the tribe, as well as village history, family history and even personal history of the carver. This is a striking and powerful piece of Yoruba art.