Cap mask or headdress carved from wood, covered with antelope skin and with a base of woven basketry for attachment to the head of the masquerade. Two antelope horns are affixed to the top of the mask. Remnants of human hair around the top of the piece. Several holes beneath the upper jaw suggest the former existence of wooden pegs to represent teeth. Africa, Nigeria, Ekoi/Ejagham Peoples, early 20th century, probably older. Height: not including the horns: 10 3/4'" (27 cm), altogether: 12" (30 cm). The mask is mounted on a custom stand. Good condition overall. Provenance: the famous French collection Verite (Drouot sale March 2007).
Note: this particular and typical kind of mask was used during initiation or funerals of members of the Cross River Region association or secret society that owned it, and also at periodic rites connected with agriculture.