This venerable wooden face mask shows layers of white, chalk-based pigment over top the wooden surface. Raw indigo pigment accentuates the eyes and the inset mirror sections on the forehead. The patina has acquired an encrusted, thickened look, indicating extensive re-use.
Measuring 13"H x 8"W. Condition is very fine with some losses to the painted surface. The mask was once part of Ekpo masquerades which, among favorable demonstrations of royal ideals, directly challenged the royal courts of the Kingdom of Benin. Very early 20th century. Provenance: Ex-Denver Art Museum, since early 1970's. With old catalog numbers on interior "AF20", "1971.696","517 OA-G". Custom mount. An elaborate and excellent example.