Time of the Brave Mask (Mgbedike)

A work made of wood and pigment.

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  • A work made of wood and pigment.

Date:

Early/mid–20th century

Artist:

Igbo
Region of Nteje, Nigeria
Coastal West Africa

About this artwork

For the Igbo, masquerade is an important means of communing with influential spirits, enforcing order, and expressing social values. This remarkable Time of the Brave mask has menacing teeth and horns and a towering headdress of interlocking snakes, monkeys, antelopes, and humans. Worn with a costume hung with quills, grasses, and seedpod rattles, the mask embodies a wilderness spirit that is aggressive, brash, powerful, and stubborn. Rival masquerade troupes stage competitive performances of their Time of the Brave masks that test the endurance and supernatural strength of each mask and its supporters.

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Arts of Africa

Artist

Igbo

Title

Time of the Brave Mask (Mgbedike)

Origin

Nigeria

Date

1900–1975

Medium

Wood and pigment

Dimensions

H. 83.8 cm (33 in.)

Credit Line

Restricted gift of Cynthia and Terry E. Perucca

Reference Number

2008.175

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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