Egbere, The Weeping Spirits
Jacob Afolabi (Nigerian, b. 1940)
DimensionsSheet : 12 3/4 x 16 1/2 in. (32.38 x 41.91 cm)
Image : 20 x 12 in. (50.8 x 30.48 cm)
Credit LineHope College Collection
LabelIn traditional Yoruba mythology, egbere are malevolent spirits that live in remote forest areas and make fearsome wailing noises at night. They are said to possess great wealth that can be obtained by anyone brave enough to steal an egbere’s sleeping mat and withstand its frightening night cries. Jacob Afolabi was the most successful graduate of the first Mbari Mbayo workshop in 1962. Afolabi had no formal artistic training, but with his vivid imagination and the skills he acquired through the workshop, he emerged as one of the early leaders of the Osogbo Movement.