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Headdress

Headdress

early 1900s

Wood, antelope skin, bone, basketry, cane, metal

Overall: 67.3 x 43.2 x 43.2 cm (26 1/2 x 17 x 17 in.)

Andrew R. and Martha Holden Jennings Fund 1990.23

Description

Headdresses or crest masks made of antelope skin stretched over a carved head are a distinctive art form of the Cross River region in southeastern Nigeria and western Cameroon. This female evocation of ideal feminine beauty was most probably worn by an Ejagham woman in the context of a female society called Ekpa, which was responsible for the education of girls in preparation for marriage.

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