Gothamgallery Fine African Art - Nigeria Yoruba Epa Tribal Crest Mask
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Gothamgallery Fine African Art - Nigeria Yoruba Epa Tribal Crest Mask:
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Superb African Nigeria / Republic of Benin Yoruba Epa Mask Crest Mask
Height: 58.5 Centimeters
Measurement Sculpture Only
Estimated Early 20th Century Fair Stylized crest mask maternity figure superstructure traditional Yoruba features aged surface US East Coast - Estimated $20.00 Exact rate use shipping calculator
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Documentation of Authenticity / Any Available Provenance Will Be Included With This PieceCONDITION
Wood deterioration, lost of pigment, chips and scrapes, age cracks, worn areas, native repaired areas, overall condition fair. Thank you and please view my other items.
The Yoruba people live mainly in the southwest of Nigeria and the south of Benin. Moreover Yoruba traditions live on as far afield as Brazil, Cuba, Haiti and the Americas in the descendants of Yoruba slaves. The term "Yoruba" is said to derive from "Yarbanci, " a nickname given by the Hausa or the Fulani to the inhabitants of the Oyo Kingdom. This name was in turn introduced by missionaries from the middle of the nineteenth century, who were the first to study the Yoruba language. Prior to that, the Yoruba-speaking peoples referred to itself by the names of their different sub-groups. Earlier the Yoruba organized themselves into a large number of city-states, traditionally administered by kings (oba), who held political as well as religious power Among the various autonomous city-states, the leading place was primarily occupied by Ileff and Old Oyo.
In the Epa festival of the Yoruba people, men perform the ceremony with large masks carved from wood. Epa is a male deity who once was a wood carver. His cult was restricted to the Northern Yoruba people. During his festival, which is held every other year, the masked dancers must jump onto a large flat-topped mound about three feet high. As some Epa masks are 4 feet tall and weigh up to at least eighty pounds, and can also be as large as 6 feet tall and one hundred and twenty pounds, this no easy feat. If it is accomplished without accident, this is a sign of the acceptance of the sacrifice that has been offered. The masked dancers are followed by stilt dancers who perform feats of agility. Stilt dancers and masks appear in festivals of a few other deities throughout the calendar year of the Yoruba, but the Epa festival is one of the more popular events. Masks of the Epa festival were carved from soft and light wooded-tree trunks. The relief impressions made on them were meant to be pronounced because, as ritual objects, they were to be out of the ordinary and awe-inspiring. Almost all of them were meant to be borne on the head and were pot shaped, helmet shaped or simply face-coverings. The Epa masks are carved from a light wooded tree called a e’ruku. By contrast, masks carved from hardwood trees are more often used for deliberate tests of strength and balancing skill on the wearer.
Painter Fred Uhlman words - Most of the artists I admired, Picasso, Modigliani, Deraini, to mention only a few, had collected African art and had been profoundly influenced by it. Shortly afterwards I bought the Baule Fetish and the Baule bobbin which are still two of the finest pieces in my collection. It is easy to see why I bought them and why from that moment I have never stopped collecting. The head of the bobbin or heddle - pulley which is after all only a functional object for the purpose of weaving seemed to me then and today as beautiful as a Greek goddess. The fetish moved me as deeply as the bobbin by its silent tragic dignity and its air of profound meditation. GUARANTEE
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