Basinjoin mask & gown.
EJAGHAM Anonymous (aka Ekoi Anonymous)
19th-20th c African (Central) Ejagham/Banyang Applied Arts
Upper Cross River. Eastern Guinea Coast. Cameroon.
Seattle. Art Museum.
This image of a mask and gown from the Cameroons illustrates the point that African art must be considered in context. We seldom realize when we look at masks in museums or books that they were but one part of a costume. Here we see the entire body covered by a long gown and the mask topped with feathers. You must also imagine the figure moving to the rhythms of the rattles he holds and to the drums that accompany him. The dancer is totally disguised. He becomes the forest spirit whose mask he wears. In many of the ceremonies such spirits would frighten the children and the women, and they must not know who was wearing the costume.
Caption: EJAGHAM | Basinjoin mask & gown. | c. 1850-1950 | Central African | Ejagham/Banyang
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