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Creator Name: Bamgboye of Odo-Owa
Creator Nationality: African; West African; Nigerian
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Dates/Places: c. 1895 - 1978
Creator Name-CRT: Bamgboye of Odo-Owa
Title: Orangun Epa Headdress
Title Type: Primary
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1923
Creation End Date: 1927
Creation Date: c. 1925
Object Type: Sculpture
Materials and Techniques: carved and painted wood
Dimensions: Overall: 137.2cm
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 1991.165
Credit Line: John L. Severance Fund and Gift of Mary Price
Context: Epa masks are used in an annual Yoruba festival that lasts about a week and honors the diverse roles necessary for a stable, prosperous society. This mask, which appeared at the Epa festival's climax, celebrates the ruler, the pillar of authority supporting the entire social structure. At the base of the headdress is a janus-faced mask symbolizing spiritual power. On the mask's superstructure, the mounted ruler carries a sword and wears protective amulets strapped to the arms. His face is framed by the chin strap of a broad-brimmed hat. Surrounding the ruler are three tiers of small attendants, who testify to his power and prestige. A wealth of carved detail reveals their roles: wives and children, messengers, musicians, warriors and praise-singers.Bamgboye (c. 1895-1978), Ifa priest and Chief Alaga of Odo-Owa, was one of the most famous sculptors of the Ekiti region, known for works that combine monumentality and detail. Technically, the mask is impressive, for it is carved almost entirely from asingle block of wood. A balanced distribution of weight was of crucial importance for the dancer, who had to support the massive headdress atop his head while dancing and spinning.
AMICA ID: CMA_.1991.165
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights:
Copyright, The Cleveland Museum of Art
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