Egbukele masquerade headdress

Igbo peoples, Ekpeya subgroup
mid–20th century
more object details

General Description

This colorful headdress appears to be an imaginary creature that combines the bulbous head of a hippopotamus and the prominent teeth of a shark or crocodile with fanciful additions of fins, horns, and extra tusks. Other marine animals can also be identified. Unlike most African sculpture, this headdress was not carved from a single piece of wood. The horns and eyes, for example, were carved separately and attached to the headdress.

The Egbukele masquerade was performed in public as entertainment as well as for renewal in every aspect of one’s life.

Excerpt from

Roslyn A. Walker, African Masks: The Art of Disguise, Label text, 2010.