Mask

A work made of wood and rubber.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of wood and rubber.

Date:

Late 19th century

Artist:

Sha or Kulere
Nigeria
Coastal West Africa

About this artwork

This strikingly abstract mask was once covered with potent red abrus seeds that were held in place by a resin paste. It would have been used in initiation rituals for one of six age-grade associations. Among the Sha people, a mask like this one represents a male spirit called Akirang who had a female counterpart named Aja. The Kulere equivalent of Akirang was Asho, a spirit associated with human and agricultural fertility.

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Arts of Africa

Artist

Sha

Title

Mask

Origin

Nigeria

Date

1867–1900

Medium

Wood and rubber

Dimensions

H. 64.8 cm (25 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Richard Faletti, the Faletti Family Collection

Reference Number

2000.319

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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