Image Resources | Not Currently on View

Egungun Masquerade Garment

Yoruba people


Egungun, meaning "powers concealed," is a masquerade associated with the honoring of ancestors. It is an important link between the worlds of the living and the dead. The maskers appear at annual festivals and at funerals. Two of their responsibilities are to console loved ones and to mediate between the two worlds. There is also an element of entertainment and social commentary.

The masker is completely covered by layers of cloth panels. The inner part is constructed of local handmade cloth.  The outer panels, which are added every year, are usually made of expensive, imported textiles.

Object Information

culture
Yoruba people
creation date
1930-1960
materials
cotton, velvet
dimensions
L: 64 in.
accession number
1990.2
credit line
Peggy S. Gilfoy Memorial Fund
collection
Textile and Fashion Arts