Helmet Mask With Leopard, Epa Society

Yoruba peoples

Federal Republic of Nigeria

Helmet Mask with Leopard, Epa Society, n.d.

  • Not On View

Polychromed wood

Dimensions: 24 3/4 × 9 in. (62.9 × 22.9 cm)

Gift of Justice and Mrs. G. Mennen Williams, 1973.30

Epa masks can be identified by a helmet bottom with a superstructure on top depicting one of several commonly used animal forms. The helmet has geometric features: ovoid eyes and rectangular teeth. The painted design creates large arched eyebrows and is repeated on the backside. The leopard form on top is a common figure in the epa masquerade festival and is typically used to open the performance. The masquerade is associated with farming and this mask is called Oloko, meaning lord of the farm.

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