Dimensions : 13 x 13 in. (33.02 x 33.02 cm)
Credit LineGift of Leif Jacobson
LabelThis mask is one of several sculptures in the museum collection that were collected in 1960-61 in Lagos, Nigeria by Hope College alumnus Leif Jacobson. The carvings were said to have come from an abandoned shrine in Abeokuta, the largest city in Nigeria’s Ogun State, and also a major base of operations for Christian missionaries working in Nigeria during the 19th and early 20th centuries. By the 1950s, many traditional Yoruba religious shrines in Abeokuta had fallen into disrepair, and the ritual objects stored in those shrines had either been destroyed or allowed to decay. The obvious weathering and damage on these objects suggest such a scenario, but it is also possible that these items were simply older ritual objects that were decommissioned from religious use and replaced with newer versions of the same forms.