Mama mask

Africa | Nigeria

Mama mask

Nigeria

Mangam helmet mask
Kantana (Mama)

Early 20th century
Carved wood and pigments
Height: 35 cm – 13 ¾ in.

Provenance
Ex collection Philippe Guimiot, Belgium
Ex collection M. Rouayroux, acquired in 1969
Ex private collection, Barcelona

Mama mask 35 cm / Galerie Flak Price on request
Marla Berns, director of the Fowler Museum (UCLA, Los Angeles) and a reference author on the arts of the Benue, notes that the Kantana (one of the five peoples of the Mama group in Nigeria) carve dance crests out of wood. The crests are presented as highly stylized bush buffaloes that appear in an ancestral masquerade called Mangam. This masquerade, one of the many manifestations of the Mangam cult, is intended to gain the participation of ancestral spirits in order to obtain a generous harvest.

publication

Mask visible in a picture taken by Philippe Guimiot in 1969.

Set of Buffalo Masks, Douala, circa 1969

Photograph published in: Alex Arthur, Philippe Guimiot in “Tribal Art Magazine” n° 52, Summer, 2009.

Documentation

image

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