Lot: 198

98th Auction

Dance crest with chameleon

Nigeria, Afo

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
German Collection H: 8.3 inch This object is not available anymore.

metal, missing parts (clamps)

This type of crest is usually made of metal, more rarely of wood. It usually shows a combination of several magical symbols, in which the cockscomb plays a particularly important role. In allusion to this, the Afo call the crest "ekpeshi" ("feather man").

Also frequently integrated into these dance crests is the chameleon, which is regarded as the harbinger of death, but which on account of its ability to change, can also bring life or death, happiness or unhappiness.

The crest is said to have appeared at funerals of nobles or important village elders. It could also be worn by a chief's servant, when he visited neighbouring villages.

Schädler, Karl-Ferdinand, Encyclopedia of African Art and Culture, Munich 2009, p. 15