An Owo mask from the Yoruba border state in southwestern Nigeria, with a rare textile object consisting of cords with fruit shells worked into a fabric above the rounded forehead, which is framed by two pointed ears. Below the closed eyelids two curved apertures nevertheless give the possibility to look through. A straight nose with expressive nostrils and below it a semi-circular mouth with two indicated rows of teeth form the rounded chin; reddish-brown patina on dark wood.
“Masks/helmets are used during the Egungun festivals, their main function is to dispel death, pestilence, convulsions and all other misfortunes. They are also used to control the power of witchcraft and other anti-social forces. They are also used for entertainment.”
“In summary, the history of Owo has a highly developed and famous cultural, artistic and historical background. Due to the kinship between the Benin and Ife cultures, Owo culture became an exquisite and magnificent art.The cultural significance of Owo objects cannot be overemphasised as they were used for various purposes such as rituals and for sacred purposes. Osanmasinmi, for example, is used as worship for ancestral shrines, among other things.
The history of Owo since the 12th century shows that the ability to live comfortably in two very influential towns is very worthy of emulation because of the very peaceful co-existence that forms a bridge of peace and unity between the people and the nation as a whole.”
Lit.: The Guardian, oct. 11, 2020, “Interrogating cultural significance of Owo”, by Agatha Nwokeocha Onyinyechi, Chief Curator of the National Museum in Onikan. Lagos.
1.200 – 1.500,- Euro
Height: 27 cm
Weight: 850 g (incl. stand)