Lot: 180

95th Tribal Art Auction

Rare anthropomorphic face mask "eku"

Nigeria, Benue River Valley region, Niger-Benue Confluence, Ebira (Igbira)

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
Phlippe Ancart, Brussels, Belgium
Jean-Pierre Jernander, Brussels, Belgium
H: 12.8 inch This object is not available anymore.

wood, kaolin, animal teeth, base

This mask probably appeared during a mask festival called "ekueci", where the deceased returned to enjoy the hospitality of the living.

This night festival marked the end of the transition period from one year to the next. Women were strictly excluded from this festival, where different types of masks appeared.

Berns, Marla C. et. al., Arts of the Benue River Valley, Los Angeles 2011, p. 156, ill. 4.28