Lot: 219

98th Auction

Face mask with articulated jaw "elu" ("spirit")

Nigeria, Ogoni

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
American Private Collection H: 9.4 inch 800 EUR
plus 27 % commission, VAT, transport and insurance

wood, two-part, pigments,

"Elu" masks, usually representing beneficient spirits, were usually worn by young men of the "ogoni" secret society.

Historically, masks were worn in ritual performances for funerals and when yams were planted and harvested.

More recently they appear at Christmas and New Year celebrations and to welcome important visitors.