knit brow, upper eyelid overhanging thin slit eyes, dark vertical smears on the cheeks; half-open mouth with one row of filed teeth; smooth face; traces of kaolin at the teeth, the hairline and around the nose; black, smooth, vertical crescent-shaped coiffure; black stripe down the forehead and on the eyebrows; red color on the lips; hole in each ear; hole at top of coiffure on each side (2nd hole on PR side)

Mask, late 19th century

expand_more
Not on Viewexpand_more

The filed upper teeth and black headdress indicate that we’re looking at a high-ranking woman of Yombe society. Because this highly realistic mask shows her as an ancestor, her face is painted white, the color of the supernatural. When worn by a male dancer during ritual ceremonies, the spirit of the deceased woman would appear from the otherworld to bring fertility, appeasement, and wellbeing to the living.

Explore

Audio

Yombe mask (#824)
Details
Title
Mask
Role
Artist
Accession Number
99.165
Curator Approved

This record is from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator, so may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

Does something look wrong with this image? Let us know

Show Detail

Zoom in on the left to the detail you'd like to save. Click 'Save detail' and wait until the image updates. Right click the image to 'save image as' or copy link, or click the image to open in a new tab.

knit brow, upper eyelid overhanging thin slit eyes, dark vertical smears on the cheeks; half-open mouth with one row of filed teeth; smooth face; traces of kaolin at the teeth, the hairline and around the nose; black, smooth, vertical crescent-shaped coiffure; black stripe down the forehead and on the eyebrows; red color on the lips; hole in each ear; hole at top of coiffure on each side (2nd hole on PR side)