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cap mask, head dress
Date Made/Found: before 1911
Material and Medium: antelope's skin, wood, shell
Dimensions: Overall: 279.4mm (11in.)
Place Object Found: Federal Republic of Nigeria
Accession Number: J1911.56
Skin covered cap mask or head dress showing a hollow carved head covered with untanned soft antelope skin. The skin would have been soaked in water for several days before it is then stretched, bonded and pegged into place. It is then left out to dry and stiffen. Once the skin is dried, the eyes, scars and hair would be carved separately and pegged into the final piece. The eyes holes have been cut out and shell are used to make the teeth. Before using the head dress, it would be painted and has basketry caps attached to the base to enable wearing it on the head. Hair is made up of small black pegs representing female hair style and therefore, this is a female head. The black painted lines on temples is referred to in literature as "target mark". It would have been used in funerary practice where human heads were originally used or possibly for initiation ceremonies for a young woman. It is worn on top of the head of a masquering dancer held in place by a string tied under the chin. The dancer would be covered by a fabric gown including the face. It creates an effect of a very tall creature with a long neck.
Display Location: In Store
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